One touch of nature makes the whole world kin

“One touch of nature makes the whole world kin.” – William Shakespeare

Ferdinando Sciann

image: Ferdinando Scianna

 

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Rejoice because thorns have roses

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 “We can complain because rose bushes have thorns, or rejoice because thorns have roses” says Alphonse Karr.

What this is telling us, is that we can choose to see the positive side of something, rather than to focus on the negative.

In the Case of Good Books

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“In the case of good books, the point is not to see how many of them you can get through, but rather how many can get through to you.” 
 Mortimer J. Adler

image: Lin Kristensen acquired from Wikimedia Commons

There is only one of you in all time – keep the channel open

steichen

Image by Edward Steichen, Martha Graham 1931

There is a vitality, a life-force, an energy, a quickening that is translated through you into action and because there is only one of you in all of time, this expression is unique.  And if you block it, it will never exist through any other medium and be lost.  The world will not have it.  It is not your business to determine how good it is nor how valuable nor how it compares with other expressions.  It is your business to keep it yours clearly and directly, to keep the channel open.  You do not even have to believe in yourself or your work.  You have to keep open and aware directly to the urges that motivate you.  Keep the channel open. 
 Martha Graham

You are the force that moves the wind

Plinio Nomellini

Artwork: Plinio Nomellini (1866–1943)

You are Life passing through your body, passing through your mind, passing through your soul. Once you find that out, not with logic, not with the intellect, but because you can feel that Life, you find out that you are the force that makes the flowers open and close, that makes the hummingbird fly from flower to flower. You find out that you are in every tree, and you are in every animal, vegetable, and rock.

You are that force that moves the wind and breathes through your body. The whole universe is a living being that is moved by that force, and that is what you are. You are Life.

— Don Miguel Ruiz

Persistent Intuition

 

The smallest flower is a thought, a life answering to some feature of the Great Whole, of whom they have a persistent intuition.
Honore De Balzac

photos Karl Blossfeldt

source http://www.ipoxstudios.com/karl-blossfeldt-and-his-artistic-representation-of-nature/

Listen With a Still Heart

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Above all, he learned from it how to listen, to listen with a still heart, with a waiting, open soul, without passion, without desire, without judgment, without opinions. — Herman Hesse, Siddhartha

Inside me there was everything I had believed was outside

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Image: René Magritte

“Inside me there was everything I had believed was outside. There was, in particular, the sun, light, and all colours. There were even the shapes of objects and the distance between objects. Everything was there and movement as well… Light is an element that we carry inside us and which can grow there with as much abundance, variety, and intensity as it can outside of us…I could light myself…that is, I could create a light inside of me so alive, so large, and so near that my eyes, my physical eyes, or what remained of them, vibrated, almost to the point of hurting…” – Jacques Lusseyran

Stargazer

stargazer

Image: ‘Stargazer’ – Sam Wolfe Connelly

“There is truth, my boy. But the doctrine you desire, absolute, perfect dogma that alone provides wisdom, does not exist. Nor should you long for a perfect doctrine, my friend. Rather, you should long for the perfection of yourself. The deity is within you, not in ideas and books. Truth is lived, not taught. Be prepared for conflicts, Joseph Knecht — I can see they have already begun.” – Hermann Hesse; Glass Bead Game

“I have no right to call myself one who knows. I was one who seeks, and I still am, but I no longer seek in the stars or in books; I’m beginning to hear the teachings of my blood pulsing within me. My story isn’t pleasant, it’s not sweet and harmonious like the invented stories; it tastes of folly and bewilderment, of madness and dream, like the life of all people who no longer want to lie to themselves.” – Hermann Hesse; Damien

“Be silent or let thy words be worth more than silence.” – Pythagoras

“Be silent or let thy words be worth more than silence.”  – Pythagoras

“We sit silently and watch the world around us. This has taken a lifetime to learn. It seems only the old are able to sit next to one another and not say anything and still feel content. The young, brash and impatient, must always break the silence. It is a waste, for silence is pure. Silence is holy. It draws people together because only those who are comfortable with each other can sit without speaking. This is the great paradox.” – Nicholas Sparks, The Notebook

Leon Spilliaert
Leon Spilliaert

“Have you ever heard the wonderful silence just before the dawn? Or the quiet and calm just as a storm ends? Or perhaps you know the silence when you haven’t the answer to a question you’ve been asked, or the hush of a country road at night, or the expectant pause of a room full of people when someone is just about to speak, or, most beautiful of all, the moment after the door closes and you’re alone in the whole house? Each one is different, you know, and all very beautiful if you listen carefully.”- Norton Juster, The Phantom Tollbooth

Ralph Eugene Meatyard
Ralph Eugene Meatyard

“My personal hobbies are reading, listening to music, and silence.”- Edith Sitwell

Edith Sitwell
Edith Sitwell

“Quiet is peace. Tranquility. Quiet is turning down the volume knob on life. Silence is pushing the off button. Shutting it down. All of it. – Amir” – Khaled Hosseini, The Kite Runner

‘Stargazer’ - Sam Wolfe Connelly
‘Stargazer’ – Sam Wolfe Connelly

“For now she need not think of anybody. She could be herself, by herself. And that was what now she often felt the need of – to think; well not even to think. To be silent; to be alone. All the being and the doing, expansive, glittering, vocal, evaporated; and one shrunk, with a sense of solemnity, to being oneself, a wedge-shaped core of darkness, something invisible to others… and this self having shed its attachments was free for the strangest adventures.” – Virginia Woolf – To the Lighthouse

René Magritte - La vie privée, (The private life) 1946
René Magritte – La vie privée, (The private life) 1946

“I need to be alone. I need to ponder my shame and my despair in seclusion; I need the sunshine and the paving stones of the streets without companions, without conversation, face to face with myself, with only the music of my heart for company.” – Henry Miller, Tropic of Cancer

Fred Stein, 1946
Fred Stein, 1946

“In Silence there is eloquence. Stop weaving and see how the pattern improves.” – Rumi

Félix Thiollier (1842-1914): Figure contemplant les monts du Menzenc, 1895-1905.
Félix Thiollier (1842-1914): Figure contemplant les monts du Menzenc, 1895-1905.

“I don’t think…” then you shouldn’t talk, said the Hatter.”- Alice in Wonderland, Lewis Carroll

“Silence is only frightening to people who are compulsively verbalizing.” – William S. Burroughs

“Blessed is the man who, having nothing to say, abstains from giving us wordy evidence of the fact.” – George Eliot

“It is always assumed by the empty-headed, who chatter about themselves for want of something better, that people who do not discuss their affairs openly must have something to hide.” – Honore de Balzac, Pere Goriot

Nancy Cunard-Curtis Moffat, c. 1925
Nancy Cunard-Curtis Moffat, c. 1925

“He who does not understand your silence will probably not understand your words.” – Elbert Hubbard

Robert George Harris
Robert George Harris

“If there were a little more silence, if we all kept quiet…maybe we could understand something.” – Federico Fellini

Julien Spianti, Elsewhere
Julien Spianti, Elsewhere

 

Solitary drinker Lafayette Hotel Greenwich Village New York 1948 Photo: Berenice Abbott
Solitary drinker Lafayette Hotel Greenwich Village New York 1948 Photo: Berenice Abbott