Thursday, February 7, 2013

And I quote...

This is the part of winter that's the hardest.  Our worst cold snap is over but it's still February, and there just isn't much to do.  For me anyway.  So this is my season of reading.  I like to read.  Typically I have a book in progress at all times, and usually one or two in reserve so there's no delay between finishing the current one and jumping right into the next.  But after finishing "Ways of Seeing" by John Berger the other day I realized I didn't have another book on deck, in the wings, or standing by.  Oops.  I was bookless.  Not really though.  I just walked over to my bookshelves to find one that deserved a second read, or third or fourth.  As I was considering my choices I noticed how many markers I had in the pages of so many books.  That's it!  This would be a great time to browse the pages and review some of my favorite quotes and passages.  Sort of a "Best Of..." adventure.  It's actually quite easy for me to do that because many years ago I discovered page points.  Not just any page points.  Levenger Page Points.  Those cool copper colored ones that slide easily onto the page and stay put.  One of the greatest inventions ever in the literary world.
So, here are a few of my favorite passages.  Some may be familiar.  Some may inspire you to go out and find the book in which they appear.  Some may just give you pause or make you smile.  So, enjoy the best of the best from my collection.

People make mistakes in life through believing too much, but they have a damned dull time if they believe too little.  James Hilton from Lost Horizon

The human eye adores gazing; it feasts on the wild beauty of new landscapes, the dignity of trees, the tenderness of a human face, or the white sphere of the moon blessing the earth in a circle of light.  The eye is always drawn to the shape of a thing.  It finds some deep consolation and sense of home in special shapes.  John O'Donohue from Anam Cara

The only controls available to those on board were two push-buttons on the center post of the cabin - one labeled on and one labeled off.  The on button simply started a flight from Mars.  The off button connected to nothing.  It was installed at the insistence of the Martian mental health experts, who said that human beings were always happier with machinery they thought they could turn off.
Kurt Vonnegut from The Sirens of Titan

All human accomplishment has the same origin.  Imagination is a force of nature.  Is this not enough to make a person full of ecstasy?  Imagination, imagination, imagination!  It converts to actual.  It sustains, it alters, it redeems!   Saul Bellow from Henderson, The Rain King.

Remember that wherever your heart is, there you will find your treasure. 
Paulo Coelho from The Alchemist

The secret of  this kind of climbing is like Zen.  Don't think.  Just dance along.  It's the easiest thing in the world, actually easier than walking on flat ground which is monotonous.  The little problems present themselves at each step and yet you don't hesitate and you find yourself on some other boulder you picked out for no special reason at all, just like zen. 
Jack Kerouac from The Dharma Bums

The Ride is best played out on a motorcycle.  It speaks to every aspect of how I see life in that poetic way - the need for balance, confronting your mortality, accelerating, braking, refueling, tune-ups, repairs, accidents, accepting passengers, and so on. 
Garri Garripoli from The Tao of the Ride

If photographs are messages, the message is both transparent and mysterious.  A photograph is a secret about a secret.  The more it tells you the less you know. 
Susan Sontag from On Photography

He has showed you what is good. And what does the Lord require of you? To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God.  Micah 6:8 from the Bible

Now go find some of your own favorites, and be sure to mark them with page points.  Levenger page points.  You know - the cool copper colored ones.


(Photos by Roger O'Dea)