Thursday, December 31
Monday, December 28
“None of us will ever accomplish anything excellent or commanding except when he listens to this whisper which is heard by him alone.” Ralph Waldo Emerson
Saturday, December 26
“Capitalism is the astounding belief that the most wickedest of men will do the most wickedest of things for the greatest good of everyone.” John Maynard Keynes
Friday, December 25
Wednesday, December 23
“Aren't we forgetting the true meaning of Christmas? You know, the birth of Santa.” Matt Groening, The Simpsons
Tuesday, December 22
Saturday, December 19
“How vain it is to sit down to write when you have not stood up to live.” Henry David Thoreau (1817 - 1862)
The trip was lazy, contemplative and relaxed, and it made me think of Thoreau. Hence the quote.
Friday, December 18
‘How hard it is, sometimes, to trust the evidence of one's senses! How reluctantly the mind consents to reality.’ Norman Douglas ‘Reality is merely an illusion, albeit a very persistent one.’ Albert Einstein (attributed)
Thursday, December 17
“What should move us to action is human dignity: the inalienable dignity of the oppressed, but also the dignity of each of us. We lose dignity if we tolerate the intolerable.” Dominique de Menil
Monday, December 14
- I promised that I would, if at all possible, never be a client friend. To me this means that I will give in a friendship, any friendship, in whatever way I can, so as to be a benefit to my friends in full measure (if not in the same currency) as they are friend to me.
- I promised that I would, if possible, always give more than I received in any relationship. Not to my detriment if possible, and not as a form of competition, but just because I want to serve those I love.
- I promised to receive freely from any friend that wished to give to me. An old folk saying goes something like, ‘In receiving a gift, we honor the giver’. I will strive to not require another’s service, but when it is offered, I will receive it gratefully.
- I promised that I would never turn away from a potential ‘client friend’. This would be a sort of karmic service, one freely given.
Saturday, December 12
"The individual has always had to struggle to keep from being overwhelmed by the tribe. If you try it, you will be lonely often, and sometimes frightened. But no price is too high to pay for the privilege of owning yourself." Rudyard Kipling
Update: 01.01.11 - Per the comment below, this quote appears to be from an interview with Rudyard Kipling, although it is nearly unanimously attributed to Nietzsche in popular usage.
Friday, December 11
Thursday, December 10
“The corporation’s legally defined mandate is to pursue, relentlessly and without exception, its own self-interest, regardless of the often harmful consequences it causes to others.” Joel Bakan, The Corporation: The Pathological Pursuit of Profit and Power
Wednesday, December 9
“The ideals which have always shone before me and filled me with the joy of living are goodness, beauty, and truth. To make a goal of comfort or happiness has never appealed to me; a system of ethics built on this basis would be sufficient only for a herd of cattle.” Albert Einstein
Tuesday, December 8
I have not read any of Augusten Burroughs' books, but from what I have gleaned regarding his past, he survived a particularly horrific childhood and converted his experience into several successful memoires. I love this one line all on its own. It is simply one of the most humble and pathos-filled sentiments I have ever encountered, and it makes me both want to smile and cry.
I can only guess at Mr. Burroughs’ state of mind when he wrote this about himself, but I find it poetic as an expression of the human condition. And I enjoy the concept of intent as a redeeming quality. I like good intentions. They lead to good things...
And that’s all I have to say about that.
Monday, December 7
Some great writer, it may have been Stephen King (yes, I consider him ‘great’ – maybe not always, but taken as a whole, and for "On Writing" alone if need be…), said that the difference between a good writer and a successful writer is that the ‘successful one put’s his or her ass in the chair’. Every writer has their own ritual or system for getting the words out, but there is a system, some commitment to discipline that puts them, ass in seat and hands on keyboard 9or pen, or pencil, or microphone) to do the writing.
I think I’m mostly over the excuses now.
So tomorrow I’m placing my ass eagerly back in the chair. When inspiration comes knocking, I’ll be in the right place at the right time. I have a world and characters waiting for me, and I find that I care about them quite a bit.
What’s your mission? What are you doing, or what should you be doing, so that inspiration can come knocking and get a warm welcome?
Sunday, December 6
“The only difference between the Democrats and the Republicans is that the Democrats allow the poor to be corrupt, too.” Oscar Levant (1906 - 1972)
Saturday, December 5
I have some truly remarkable friends, and when I say that I’m also pleased to count my family among them. I’m not sure this is an accurate reflection of my character, but if it were the best measure, I’d be full to the brim.
I’m not talking about the kind of friends that are just kinda fun to hang out with, although they are. Or the kind of friends that are fun to get my drink on with, although they are (on the rare occasion that we are moved to do so). Or even the kind of friends that are there to let you vent and bitch and moan occasionally, although they are.
Friday, December 4
In life, there are things that you need and things that you want. The secret to being happy is knowing the difference, ignoring the things that you want, and falling in love daily with the things that you need.
Thursday, December 3
"The more freedom we enjoy, the greater the responsibility we bear, toward others as well as ourselves." Oscar Arias Sanchez
The comments and dialog from the last few days reminded of this quote. It, too, is a great reminder that whatever grace or truth or freedom we’ve been granted involves as much responsibility as it does liberty for ourselves. One interpretation is the cultural one; that in a ‘free’ culture or nation we have a responsibility to individuals or nations that do not enjoy our measure or version of freedom. That one scares me a bit.