Tag Archives: Mary Oliver quotes

Gratitude blooms

Lotus 
 
 
 
“At times our own light goes out and is rekindled by a spark from another person. Each of us has cause to think with deep gratitude of those who have lighted the flame within us.”
 
– Albert Schweitzer
 
 
 
 
“Skin had hope, that’s what skin does.
Heals over the scarred place, makes a road.
Love means you breathe in two countries.
And skin remembers – silk, spiny grass,
deep in the pocket that is skin’s secret own.
Even now, when skin is not alone,
it remembers being alone and thanks something larger
that there are travelers, that people go places
larger than themselves.”
 
– Naomi Shihab Nye, from ‘Two Countries’
 
 
 
 
“Let us be grateful to people who make us happy; they are the charming gardeners who make our souls blossom.”

– Marcel Proust
 
  
 
 
“You can have the other words – chance, luck, coincidence, serendipity. I’ll take grace. I don’t know what it is exactly but I’ll take it.”
 
– Mary Oliver
 
 
 
 
“Give praise with the sound of the milk-train far away
With its mutter of wheels and long-drawn-out sweet whistle
As it speeds through the fields of sleep at three in the morning,
Give praise with the immense and peaceful sigh
Of the wind in the pinewoods,
At night give praise with starry silences.
 
Give praise with the skirling of seagulls
And the rattle and flap of sails
And gongs of buoys rocked by the sea-swell
Out in the shipping-lanes beyond the harbor.
Give praise with the humpback whales,
Huge in the ocean they sing to one another.
 
Give praise with the rasp and sizzle of crickets,
          katydids and cicadas,
Give praise with hum of bees,
Give praise with the little peepers who live near water.
When they fill the marsh with a shimmer of bell-like cries
We know that the winter is over.
 
Give praise with mockingbirds, day’s nightingales.
Hour by hour they sing in the crepe myrtle
And glossy tulip trees
On quiet side streets in southern towns.”
 
– Anne Porter, from ‘A List of Praises’
 
 
  
 
“Gratitude is a vaccine, an antitoxin, and an antiseptic.”
 
– John Henry Jowett
 
 
 
 
“One regret dear world, that I am determined not to have when
I am lying on my deathbed is that I did not kiss you enough.”
 
– Hafiz of Persia
 
 
 
 
“Still, what I want in my life
is to be willing
to be dazzled –
to cast aside the weight of facts
 
and maybe even
to float a little
above this difficult world.”
 
– Mary Oliver, from ‘The Ponds’
 
 
 
 
“Praise the bridge that carried you over.”
 
– George Colman
 
 
 
 
“over telephones we are saying thank you
in doorways and in the backs of cars and in elevators
remembering wars and the police at the door
and the beatings on stairs we are saying thank you
in the banks we are saying thank you
in the faces of the officials and the rich
and of all who will never change
we go on saying thank you thank you
 
with the animals dying around us
our lost feelings we are saying thank you
with the forests falling faster than the minutes
of our lives we are saying thank you
with the words going out like cells of a brain
with the cities growing over us
we are saying thank you faster and faster
with nobody listening we are saying thank you
we are saying thank you and waving
dark though it is”

– W S Merwin, from ‘Thanks’
 
 
 
 
Lotus.2

Beginnings

 
 
 
“Though we live in a world that dreams of ending
that always seems about to give in
something that will not acknowledge conclusion
insists that we forever begin.”
 
– Brendan Kennelly, ‘Begin’
 
 
 
“Nourish beginnings, let us nourish beginnings.
Not all things are blest, but the
seeds of all things are blest.
The blessing is in the seed.”
 
– Muriel Rukeyser, ‘Elegy in Joy’
 
 
 
“For last year’s words belong to last year’s language
And next year’s words await another voice.”
 
– T S Eliot, ‘Little Gidding”
 
 
 
“The birds they sing at break of day, ‘Start again …’
I hear them say.”
 
– Leonard Cohen
 
 
 
“The aim of life is to live, and to live means to be aware, joyously, drunkenly, serenely, divinely aware.”

– Henry Miller
 
 
 
” … Let me
keep my mind on what matters,
which is my work,
 
which is mostly standing still and learning to be
astonished.”
 
– Mary Oliver, ‘Messenger’
 
 
 
“As long as you can start, you are all right. The juice will come.”
 
– Ernest Hemingway
  
  
  
“An empty canvas, apparently really empty, that says nothing and is without significance – almost dull, in fact – in reality, is crammed with thousands of undertone tensions and full of expectancy. Slightly apprehensive lest it should be outraged.”
 
– Wassily Kandinsky
  
  
 
“I rarely begin a work with any clear or predetermined idea as to how the work should look. Even when I do, I seldom find the completed work matching up with the original projection.”
 
– Noyes Capehart Long
 
 
 
“For a sailor to sail around the world, the thought is just, sometimes, too much. Thus, one simply goes from port to port in the same direction.”
 
– Hal Moore
 
  
 
“Stuff your eyes with wonder, live as if you’d drop dead in ten seconds. See the world. It’s more fantastic than any dream made or paid for in factories.”
 
– Ray Bradbury
 
  
  
“Go and dare to create your own adventures.”
 
– Elena Lindquist
  
 
 
“I do think New Year’s resolutions can’t technically be expected to begin on New Year’s Day, don’t you? Since, because it’s an extension of New Year’s Eve, smokers are already on a smoking roll and cannot be expected to stop abruptly on the stroke of midnight with so much nicotine in the system. Also dieting on New Year’s Day isn’t a good idea as you can’t eat rationally but really need to be free to consume whatever is necessary, moment by moment, in order to ease your hangover. I think it would be much more sensible if resolutions began generally on January the second.”
  
– Helen Fielding, Bridget Jones’s Diary
 
 
Happy New Year!