Sunday, 21 October 2012

And so to bed 3

"And so to bed." was a phrase well known from the Diaries of Samuel Pepys, and I have been using it to end the day with a quotation on Facebook to ponder. Sometimes it takes around 20 minutes to find a suitable quotation, and I try to adhere to the following principles:

1) it must not be one of the interminable short quotations that are continually posted on Facebook, usually attributed (and occasionally genuinely) to Einstein, the Dalai Lama, Rumi, etc - so not a sound bite quotation. It must not be too short, but not too long either.

2) it must be genuine, and not a fake, properly sourced

3) Most importantly, it must be something that makes you glimpse the world through the eyes of the writer, and if you agree with it, it will not be because it is saying something that just chimes with you, like the sound bites, but a quotation that hopefully opens your eyes to a different vision, yet a vision with which you can also say "that is true", or "I never thought of that in that way, but now that I see it..."

So here is a third set of quotations for which I've ended each evening, for those who have missed them going out on Facebook

And so to bed... a beautiful crescent moon tonight, and a quote from Terry Pratchett:

What was supposed to be so special about a full moon? It was only a big circle of light. And the dark of the moon was only darkness. But halfway between the two, when the moon was between the worlds of light and dark, when even the moon lived on the edge...maybe then a witch could believe in the moon.

And so to bed... quote for tonight is from J.R.R. Tolkien. I was exploring the power of myths at the time, and this speaks strongly about that:

We have come from God, and inevitably the myths woven by us, though they contain error, will also reflect a splintered fragment of the true light, the eternal truth that is with God. Indeed only by myth-making, only by becoming 'sub-creator' and inventing stories, can Man aspire to the state of perfection that he knew before the Fall. Our myths may be misguided, but they steer however shakily towards the true harbour, while materialistic 'progress' leads only to a yawning abyss and the Iron Crown of the power of evil.

And so to bed... quote for tonight is from Fyodor Dostoyevsky:

You see, gentlemen, reason is an excellent thing, there's no disputing that, but reason is nothing but reason and satisfies only the rational side of man's nature, while will is a manifestation of the whole life, that is, of the whole human life including reason and all the impulses. And although our life, in this manifestation of it, is often worthless, yet it is life and not simply extracting square roots.

And so to bed... quote for tonight is from Robert Browning:

The rain set early in tonight,
The sullen wind was soon awake,
It tore the elm-tops down for spite,
And did its best to vex the lake:
I listened with heart fit to break.
When glided in Porphyria; straight
She shut the cold out and the storm,
And kneeled and made the cheerless grate
Blaze up and all the cottage warm.

And so to bed... quote for tonight is from Keri Wyatt Kent:

The fields...are white already to harvest" (John 4:35 KJV), or as other versions put it, "ripe for harvest."...One part of the harvest metaphor we may have missed was the importance of timing - there is a season for both sowing and reaping, and sometimes there is a season of simply waiting and watering.

And so to bed.. quote for tonight is from Archbishop Desmond Tutu:

We say in our African idiom, 'A person is a person through other persons.' The solitary human being is a contradiction in terms. I need you in order to be me as you need me in order to be you. We are caught up in a delicate network of interconnectedness. I have gifts that you don't, and you have gifts I don't--voila! We are made different so that we may know our need of one another. The completely self-sufficient human being is subhuman. Thus diversity, difference is of the essence of who we are.

And so to bed... quotes for tonight (several because short) are from St Francis of Assisi:

If you have men who will exclude any of God's creatures from the shelter of compassion and pity, you will have men who will deal likewise with their fellow men.

He who works with his hands is a laborer.
He who works with his hands and his head is a craftsman.
He who works with his hands and his head and his heart is an artist.

All the darkness of the world cannot extinguish the light of a small candle.

And so to bed... quote for tonight from Richard Holloway:

One of the most tragic things about us is that we commit irreversible acts with no power to undo them and no way to rewind to the moment before the event that may have stolen another's joy and destroyed our own peace of mind. The remedy for the irreversibility of our actions is the ability to forgive them or be forgiven for them. The most terrible effect of bad conduct is its ability to steal the future by trapping us in a futile loop that endlessly rehearses what was done to us or what we have done to another.

And so to bed... quote for tonight is from Mark Haddon (The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time):

When people die they are sometimes put into coffins, which means that they don't mix with the earth for a very long time until the wood of the coffin rots.

But Mother was cremated. This means that she was put into a coffin and burned and ground up and turned into ash and smoke. I do not know what happens to the ash and I couldn't ask at the crematorium because I didn't go to the funeral.

But the smoke goes out of the chimney and into the air and sometimes I look up and I think that there are molecules of Mother up there, or in clouds over Africa or the Antarctic, or coming down as rain in the rain forests in Brazil, or snow somewhere.

And so to bed... quote tonight from E.F. Schumacher:

The Buddhist view takes the function of work to be at least threefold: to give a man a chance to utilize and develop his faculties; to enable him to overcome his egocentredness by joining with other people in a common task; and to bring forth the goods and services needed for a becoming existence.

And so to bed... quote for tonight is from Robert Grudin:

There is a brief period of twilight of which I am especially fond, little more than a moment, when I see what seems to be color without light, followed by another brief period of light without color. The earlier period, like a dawn of night, calls up such sights as at all other times are hidden, wistful half-formless presences neither of day nor night, that draw up with them similar presences in the mind.

And so to bed... quote for tonight are from Robert M Pirsig:

You look at where you're going and where you are and it never makes much sense, but then you look back at where you've been and a pattern seems to emerge. And if you project forward from that pattern, then sometimes you can come up with something.

And so to bed... quote tonight is from George Eliot:

I like not only to be loved, but also to be told that I am loved. I am not sure that you are of the same mind. But the realm of silence is large enough beyond the grave. This is the world of light and speech, and I shall take leave to tell you that you are very dear.

And so to bed... quote for tonight is from J.B. Priestley, written during World War II:

We're not fighting to restore the past; it was the past which brought us to this heavy hour; but we are fighting to rid ourselves and the world of the evil encumbrance of these Nazis so that we can plan and create a noble future for all our species.

And so to bed... quote for tonight is from Stephen Jay Gould:

We pass through this world but once. Few tragedies can be more extensive than the stunting of life, few injustices deeper than the denial of an opportunity to strive or even to hope, by a limit imposed from without, but falsely identified as lying within.

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