If you must leave a place . . .

I have learned that if you must leave a place
That you have lived in and loved,
And where all of your yesterdays are buried deep –
Leave it any way except slow;
Leave it the fastest way you can.
Never turn back and believe that an hour you remember
Is a better hour because it is dead.
Past years seem safe ones, vanquished ones,
While the future lives in a cloud, formidable from a distance.
The cloud clears though, as you enter it.
I have learned this, but like everyone,
I learned it late.”

Beryl Markham

Most things are forgotten . . .

Most things are forgotten over time. Even the war itself, the life-and-death struggle people went through is now like something from the distant past. We’re so caught up in our everyday lives that events of the past are no longer in orbit around our minds. There are just too many things we have to think about everyday, too many new things we have to learn. But still, no matter how much time passes, no matter what takes place in the interim, there are some things we can never assign to oblivion, memories we can never rub away. They remain with us forever, like a touchstone.

— Haruki Murakami

Anne Frank on a quiet conscience . . .

People who have a religion should be glad, for not everyone has the gift of believing in heavenly things. You don’t necessarily even have to be afraid of punishment after death; purgatory, hell, and heaven are things that a lot of people can’t accept, but still a religion, it doesn’t matter which, keeps a person on the right path. It isn’t the fear of God but the upholding of one’s own honor and conscience. How noble and good everyone could be if, every evening before falling asleep, they were to recall to their minds the events of the while day and consider exactly what has been good and bad. Then, without realizing it you try to improve yourself at the start of each new day; of course, you achieve quite a lot in the course of time. Anyone can do this, it costs nothing and is certainly very helpful. Whoever doesn’t know it must learn and find by experience that: “A quiet conscience mades one strong!

— Anne Frank

What love does and doesn’t do . . .

Love doesn’t want people to stay ignorant and frightened. Love doesn’t value obedience over all else. Love doesn’t judge and find some lives – or loves – more valuable than others. Love doesn’t use people and throw them away. Love stays, and makes you stronger, even when the person you love is gone.

— Stacey Jay

When I understand myself . . .

When I understand myself, I understand you, and out of that understanding comes love. Love is the missing factor; there is a lack of affection, of warmth in relationship; and because we lack that love, that tenderness, that generosity, that mercy in relationship, we escape into mass action which produces further confusion, further misery. We fill our hearts with blueprints for world reform and do not look to that one resolving factor which is love.

Jiddu Krishnamurti

The perfect work of art . . . the beautiful life

I have an idea that the only thing which makes it possible to regard this world we live in without disgust is the beauty which now and then men create out of the chaos. The pictures they paint, the music they compose, the books they write, and the lives they lead. Of all these the richest in beauty is the beautiful life. That is the perfect work of art.

W. Somerset Maugham

Growing up means . . .

Growing up means learning what life is. When you’re little, you have a set of ideals, standards, criteria, plans, outlooks, and you think that you have to sit around and wait for them to happen to you and then life will work. But life isn’t like that, for anybody; you can’t fall in love with a standard, you have to fall in love with a person. You can’t live in a criteria, you have to live your life. You can’t wait for your plans to materialize, because they may never materialize the way you think they will. You can’t wait to watch your ideals and standards walk up to you, because you can’t know what’s yours until you have it. I always say, always take the first chance in case you never get a second one, but growing up takes that even one step further, growing up means that you have to hold on to what you have, when you have it, because what you have- that’s yours- and all the ideals and criteria you have set in your head, those aren’t yours, because those haven’t happened to you.

— C. JoyBell C.