The Quote Garden

 I dig old books.

 Est. 1998

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Quotations about Living in the Present

With the Past, as past, I have nothing to do; nor with the Future, as future. I live now... ~Ralph Waldo Emerson

Try your very best to live in the present moment where your heart beats are. ~Bernard Basset, We Neurotics: A Handbook for the Half-Mad, 1962

We think we've had our chance — or our chance is yet to come. It is a rare ability to see one's chance in progress. ~Robert Brault,, 2019

I can't wait all my life
On a street of broken dreams.
~Stephen Ray Perry, Neal Joseph Schon, & Jonathan Cain, "It Could Have Been You," performed by Journey, 1986 ♫

I do not ask for faith in a hereafter, but let me believe in today, and no hereafter can present that I shall not be well prepared. ~Muriel Strode (1875–1964), My Little Book of Life, 1912

Would you keep a chive on your tooth just because you enjoyed last night's potato? ~From the television show Boston Common

No man is rich enough to buy back his past. ~Oscar Wilde

It's but little good you'll do a-watering the last year's crop. ~George Eliot, Adam Bede (Mrs. Poyser)

If you are still talking about what you did yesterday, you haven't done much today. ~Author unknown

When yesterday is dead, I shall bury it. My onward march is over new-made graves. ~Muriel Strode (1875–1964), My Little Book of Life, 1912

The past is never there when you try to go back. It exists, but only in memory. To pretend otherwise is to invite a mess. ~Chris Cobbs

Keep not alive the woes of yesterday,
But bury them deep down within your soul;
And, then, erect a monument of love!
And sadness from your consciousness will roll.
~Gertrude Tooley Buckingham, "Say Good-Bye," 1940s

I need neither future nor past, but to learn to take today not too fast. ~Jeb Dickerson, @JebDickerson

The memories you have are just recordings of things past, not chains to bind you. ~Mike Dolan, @HawaiianLife

Don't let the past steal your present. ~Terri Guillemets

...And you learn to build your hope on today
as the future has a way of falling apart in mid-flight...
~Veronica Shoffstall, "After a While," 1971

Having spent the better part of my life trying either to relive the past or experience the future before it arrives, I have come to believe that in between these two extremes is peace. ~Author unknown

Many appreciate the greatness of the past; few, the greatness of the present. ~"Poor Richard Junior's Philosophy," The Saturday Evening Post, 1903, George Horace Lorimer, editor

If you have one eye on yesterday, and one eye on tomorrow, you're going to be cockeyed today. ~Author unknown

It does not do to dwell on dreams and forget to live, remember that. ~J.K. Rowling, "The Mirror of Erised," Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone, 1997  [Albus Dumbledore —tg]

Stay on top of your past so you can have a better view of your future. ~Dodinsky

We live in the Now, but our dreaming
      Of sunsets of purple and gold,
      Flushes with crimson our life-beats,
      As Light drinks its bliss 'neath the fold,
      When up toward the zenith it flashes
      Are shot as the sun bows "Good night!"
      'Tis the Past, but never its beauty
      Can be blotted from Memory's light.
We may be re-created in atoms
      Each day, and manifest power,
      But no change can come to the spirit,
      Of budding and bursting to flower.
      And the halcyon days that were given,—
      Now hide in the graves of the Past,—
      Again with their glimpses of heaven
      Cause the pulses of Now to beat fast.
But the rubbish of ages we heed not
      For Life is for infinite use;
      And he who lags on or is faithless,
      His deeds will brook no excuse.
      To use the Now as none other,
      Is ours at our will to employ,
      But Memory's wand, still uplifted,
      Will bring what has been to enjoy.
~Abbie Walker Gould, "A Summary," 1904

We cannot overstate our debt to the Past, but the moment has the supreme claim. ~Ralph Waldo Emerson, "Quotation and Originality," Letters and Social Aims, 1876

I felt strangely anxious that day, in a very human way. People are always worried about what's happening next. They often find it difficult to stand still, to occupy the now without worrying about the future. People are not generally satisfied with what they have; they are very concerned with what they are going to have. ~Garth Stein, The Art of Racing in the Rain, 2008

We have passed from the regions of dreams and visions,
And the flesh is the flesh and the rose is the rose;
And we see but the absolute joy of the present
      In the sunlight of beauty.
~George Moore, "The Portrait: Prologue: The Triumph of the Flesh," Pagan Poems, 1881

Reflect upon your present blessings — of which every man has many — not on your past misfortunes, of which all men have some. ~Charles Dickens, "A Christmas Dinner"

...I lost the past and future in the bright world of To-day. ~James Allen, "To-morrow and To-day," Poems of Peace, 1907

I believe that the day of judgment is NOW. I believe we live in the NOW, and we will always be in the NOW, whether we are on this side of the dream called Life, or whether it is after we have gone to the other side, we will live in the NOW, and we will be judged for what we do NOW. ~Oliver C. Sabin, "The Final Judgment," 1900

Time is plenty —
Be now.
~Terri Guillemets, "Now is enough," 2018, blackout poetry created from Lemony Snicket, The Grim Grotto, 2004, page 199

If you're always racing to the next moment, what happens to the one you're in? ~Author unknown

Today is the greatest
Day I've ever known
Can't live for tomorrow,
Tomorrow's much too long...
~Billy Corgan, "Today," Siamese Dream (Smashing Pumpkins), 1993

The living moment is everything. ~D.H. Lawrence

So aim high, dearie, but don't climb faster than you can with pleasure. You have all eternity ahead! And every inch of eternity is just like now; so get all the fun you can out of... now. ~Elizabeth Jones Towne, Practical Methods for Self Development, 1904

We are not dead yet; we are here, and it is now. ~H.L. Mencken (1880–1956), "Joseph Conrad," A Book of Prefaces, 1917  [Ever wonder about the "Opus 13" on A Book of Prefaces? "Under my name on the title page appeared 'Opus 13,' but this was mere blague, for a list of my books facing the title showed only nine titles, and all reference to opus numbers was omitted with the third edition, in August 1920." ~H.L. Mencken, My Life as Author and Editor, edited by Jonathan Yardley, 1992 —tεᖇᖇ¡·g]

Take your eyes off what you lost. ~Daniel, @blindedpoet, tweet, 2010

Don't spend too much of your life avoiding the sharp edges of shattered dreams. ~Terri Guillemets

Forever – is composed of Nows –
'Tis not a different time...
Let Months dissolve in further Months –
And Years – exhale in Years...
~Emily Dickinson, c.1862

I would rather have faith that here and now will be complete, than faith that heaven is the answer. ~Muriel Strode (1875–1964), My Little Book of Life, 1912

You must finish... every day, & be done with it. For manners, & for wise living, it is a vice to remember. You have done what you could — some blunders & absurdities no doubt crept in forget them as fast as you can tomorrow is a new day. You shall begin it well & serenely, & with too high a spirit to be cumbered with your old nonsense. This day for all that is good & fair. It is too dear with its hopes & invitations to waste a moment on the rotten yesterdays. ~Ralph Waldo Emerson, 1854

You can live in the past with your memories, or in the future with your dreams. What's hard is to find an illusion for the present. ~Robert Brault,

It's not what if, it's what now. ~Author unknown

The key to enjoying the moment is to always carry a list of "Things I Gotta Do That Can Wait." ~Robert Brault,

Let the credit card companies market as they will, the only thing that's priceless is Now. ~Terri Guillemets, 2005

We are always getting ready to live, but never living. ~Ralph Waldo Emerson

A bottle of wine
Still to be drunk,
A bundle of thoughts
Still to be thunk.
~Robert Brault, "Makings of a Perfect Afternoon,"

If you worry about what might be, and wonder what might have been, you will ignore what is. ~Author unknown

Mrs. Snow had lived forty years, and for fifteen of those years she had been too busy wishing things were different to find much time to enjoy things as they were. ~Eleanor H. Porter, Pollyanna, 1912

In this light, let's not look back in anger, or forward in fear, but around in awareness. ~James Thurber

I try to grasp the infinite, when I have never grasped the hour.
I want heaven, and I have never laid hold of the earth.
I try to reach God, when I have never reached man.
Today goes unperformed, yet I demand an infinity of years.
I will not ask of the resurrection after death. I am concerned with the resurrection in life. I who am buried in the tomb of today want the assurance of ascension tomorrow. I do not ask if I shall live then — I am not sure that I live now.
I do not want a beautiful theory that will make my going sweet. I want a beautiful fact that will sweeten my day.
~Muriel Strode (1875–1964), "A Soul's Faring: LXIX," A Soul's Faring, 1921

Chasing the past, I stumbled into the future. ~Terri Guillemets, "Chasing the past," 1995

When I am anxious it is because I am living in the future. When I am depressed it is because I am living in the past. ~Author unknown

Lord, let me live each day
      Apart unto itself
      Untroubled by the grey
      Or drab of days to come.
And let the future keep
      Its secrets undisturbed
      Tranquility as deep
      As Thy dear love I crave.
Let me be satisfied
      To do each hour's task
      Heedless of days untried
      And distant years unborn.
~George Elliston, "Tranquility," Through Many Windows, 1924

As you wait for better days, don't forget to enjoy today, in case they've already started. ~Robert Brault,

People are always worried about what's happening next. They often find it difficult to stand still, to occupy the now without worrying about the future. People are not generally satisfied with what they have; they are very concerned with what they are going to have. ~Garth Stein, The Art of Racing in the Rain, 2008

If a man carefully examine his thoughts he will be surprised to find how much he lives in the future. His wellbeing is always ahead. Such a creature is probably immortal. ~Ralph Waldo Emerson, 1827

The nightingales came to my window and I did not heed. Now they have flown away into the deep wood, and that is why I am here in the deep wood of my life, looking for my lost birds that sing.
I was insensate to the roses. Then one day the winter was upon me, and I came frantically imploring my June...
I will take a little more time out of life to live — one hour for the dawn, and one for the evening, and one for the singing fields; one rose hour for the gardens, and one to set my feet on the crest of hills.
Against the glitter of dew and the light of stars, the feel of the hills and the call of the meadows, I will measure my petty day. ~Muriel Strode (1875–1964), "A Soul's Faring: LVI," A Soul's Faring, 1921

Have I forsaken my nature for my desires? Have I made a mistake by anticipating my future and shunning my present? Perhaps I have. An embarrassing deathbed regret. ~Garth Stein, The Art of Racing in the Rain, 2008

You are master of yourself to-day; but God gives you supremacy for only one day at a time. to-morrow is not your kingdom. Of to-morrow you have no sceptre till to-morrow is to-day. As fast as time is ours it is brought to us; and then we administer over it. And to-day I can say, "Can I get through to-day?" I never saw a man that could not get through a single day. That is a space that almost anybody can stride over. Almost everybody says, "I could get through to-day if I had reason to believe that to-morrow—" Oh! to-morrow does not exist to you. If you can bear your burden to-day, if you can carry your cross to-day, if you can endure your pain to-day, if you can suffer the shame of to-day, if you can put down the fear of to-day, if you can find philosophy of contentment to-day, you will get along well enough. Take what comes to you to-day. to-morrow you have no business with. You steal if you touch to-morrow. It is God's. Every day has in it enough to keep every man occupied without concerning himself with the things which lie beyond. ~Henry Ward Beecher, 1870

If you wait for tomorrow, tomorrow comes. If you don't wait for tomorrow, tomorrow comes. ~Senegalese proverb

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