Claude Monet – The Luncheon
Then followed that beautiful season…Summer….
Filled was the air with a dreamy and magical light; and the landscape
Lay as if new created in all the freshness of childhood.
Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
Summer afternoon—summer afternoon;
to me those have always been
the two most beautiful words in the English language.
Deep summer is when laziness finds respectability.
Rest is not idleness,
and to lie sometimes on the grass on a summer day
listening to the murmur of water,
or watching the clouds float across the sky,
is hardly a waste of time.
I drifted into a summer-nap under the hot shade of July,
serenaded by a cicadae lullaby,
to drowsy-warm dreams of distant thunder.
Leonardo da Vinci – Vitruvian Man, 1487
The noblest pleasure is the joy of understanding.
Painting is poetry that is seen rather than felt,
and poetry is painting that is felt rather than seen.
Principles for the Development of a Complete Mind:
Study the science of art.
Study the art of science.
Develop your senses – especially learn how to see.
Realize that everything connects to everything else.
One has no right to love or hate anything if one
has not acquired a thorough knowledge of its nature.
Great love springs from great knowledge of the beloved object,
and if you know it but little
you will be able to love it only a little or not at all.
Once you have tasted flight,
you will forever walk the earth with your eyes turned skyward,
for there you have been,
and there you will always long to return.
An average human
looks without seeing, listens without hearing,
touches without feeling, eats without tasting,
moves without physical awareness,
inhales without awareness of odour or fragrance,
and talks without thinking.
Leonardo da Vinci
“What day is it?”
“It’s today,” squeaked Piglet.
“My favorite day,” said Pooh.
Promise me you’ll always remember:
You’re braver than you believe,
and stronger than you seem,
and smarter than you think.
“Sometimes”, said Pooh,
“the smallest things take up the most room in your heart.”
How do you spell ‘love’?” – Piglet
“You don’t spell it…you feel it.” – Pooh
Some people care too much.
I think it’s called love.
How lucky I am to have something that makes saying goodbye so hard.
If you live to be a hundred,
I want to live to be a hundred minus one day so I never have to live without you.
Piglet noticed that even though he had a Very Small Heart,
it could hold a rather large amount of Gratitude.
A.A. Milne – Winnie the Pooh
I have come home at last!
This is my real country!
I belong here.
This is the land I have been looking for all my life,
though I never knew it till now…
Come further up, come further in!
Then two wonders happened at the same moment.
One was that the voice was suddenly joined by other voices;
more voices than you could possibly count.
They were in harmony with it, but far higher up the scale: cold, tingling, silvery voices.
The second wonder was that the blackness overhead, all at once, was blazing with stars.
They didn’t come out gently one by one, as they do on a summer evening.
One moment there had been nothing but darkness; next moment a thousand,
thousand points of light leaped out –
single stars, constellations, and planets, brighter and bigger than any in our world.
There were no clouds.
The new stars and the new voices began at exactly the same time.
If you had seen and heard it, as Digory did,
you would have felt quite certain that it was the stars themselves which were singing,
and that it was the First Voice, the deep one,
which had made them appear and made them sing.
Safe?” said Mr. Beaver.”Who said anything about safe?
‘Course he isn’t safe. But he’s good.
He’s the King, I tell you.
But I cannot tell that to this old sinner,
and I cannot comfort him either;
he has made himself unable to hear my voice.
If I spoke to him, he would hear only growlings and roarings.
Oh, Adam’s son,
how cleverly you defend yourself against all that might do you good!
C.S. Lewis, The Chronicles of Narnia
Carl Spitzweg – Schoolchildren in the Woodland
All That is Gold Does Not Glitter
All that is gold does not glitter,
Not all those who wander are lost;
The old that is strong does not wither,
Deep roots are not reached by the frost.
From the ashes a fire shall be woken,
A light from the shadows shall spring;
Renewed shall be blade that was broken,
The crownless again shall be king.
All Woods Must Fail
O! Wanderers in the shadowed land
Despair not! For though dark they stand,
All woods there be must end at last,
And see the open sun go past:
The setting sun, the rising sun,
The day’s end, or the day begun.
For east or west all woods must fail.
J. R. R. Tolkien
Louis Aston Knight, Beaumont-le -Roger
Let the first act of every morning be to make the following resolve for the day:
I shall not fear anyone on Earth.
I shall fear only God.
I shall not bear ill will toward anyone.
I shall not submit to injustice from anyone.
I shall conquer untruth by truth.
And in resisting untruth,
I shall put up with all suffering.
We often think of peace as the absence of war,
that if powerful countries would reduce their weapon arsenals,
we could have peace.
But if we look deeply into the weapons,
we see our own minds- our own prejudices, fears and ignorance.
Even if we transport all the bombs to the moon,
the roots of war and the roots of bombs are still there,
in our hearts and minds, and sooner or later we will make new bombs.
To work for peace is to uproot war from
ourselves and from the hearts of men and women.
To prepare for war,
to give millions of men and women the opportunity
to practice killing day and night in their hearts,
is to plant millions of seeds of violence, anger, frustration,
and fear that will be passed on for generations to come.
Thich Nhat Hanh
Instead of hating the people you think are war-makers,
hate the appetites and disorder in your own soul,
which are the causes of war.
If you love peace,
then hate injustice, hate tyranny, hate greed -
but hate these things in yourself, not in another.
It isn’t what you have or who you are or
where you are or what you are doing
that makes you happy or unhappy.
It is what you think about it.
Everything can be taken from a man or a woman but one thing:
the last of human freedoms
to choose one’s attitude in any given set of circumstances,
to choose one’s own way.
Keep your thoughts positive because your thoughts become your words.
Keep your words positive because your words become your behavior.
Keep your behavior positive because your behavior becomes your habits.
Keep your habits positive because your habits become your values.
Keep your values positive because your values become your destiny.
Another way to be prepared is to think negatively.
Yes, I’m a great optimist.
But, when trying to make a decision,
I often think of the worst case scenario.
I call it ‘the eaten by wolves factor.’
If I do something, what’s the most terrible thing that could happen?
Would I be eaten by wolves?
One thing that makes it possible to be an optimist,
is if you have a contingency plan for when all hell breaks loose.
There are a lot of things I don’t worry about,
because I have a plan in place if they do.
The Road Home – Emerald Depths
It is when we notice the dirt that God is most present in us;
it is the very sign of His presence.
And out of that hopeless attempt has come nearly all that we call human history —
money, poverty, ambition, war, prostitution, classes, empires, slavery —
the long terrible story of man trying to find something other than God
which will make him happy.
My argument against God was that the universe seemed so cruel and unjust.
But how had I got this idea of just and unjust?
A man does not call a line crooked unless he has some idea of a straight line.
What was I comparing this universe with when I called it unjust?
The irony is that while God doesn’t need us but still wants us,
we desperately need God but don’t really want Him most of the time.
It might be a good idea if, like the White Queen,
we practiced believing six impossible things every morning before breakfast,
for we are called on to believe what to many people is impossible.
Instead of rejoicing in this glorious “impossible” which gives meaning and dignity to our lives,
we try to domesticate God,
to make his mighty actions comprehensible to our finite minds.
What the soul hardly realizes is that, unbeliever or not,
his loneliness is really a homesickness for God.
Dom Hubert Van Zeller
Hendrick Avercamp – Winter Landscape with Skaters
Being unwanted, unloved, uncared for, forgotten by everybody,
I think that is a much greater hunger,
a much greater poverty than the person who has nothing to eat.
When people love each other, they are content with very little.
When we have light and joy in our hearts, we don’t need material wealth.
The most loving communities are often the poorest.
If our own life is luxurious and wasteful, we can’t approach poor people.
If we love people, we want to identify with them and share with them.
Every child, every person needs to know that they are a source of joy;
every child, every person, needs to be celebrated.
Only when all of our weaknesses are accepted as part of our humanity
can our negative, broken self-images be transformed.”
To love someone is to show to them their beauty,
their worth and their importance.”
A community is only being created when its members accept that they are not going to achieve great things, that they are not going to be heroes, but simply live each day with new hope, like children, in wonderment as the sun rises and in thanksgiving as it sets.
Community is only being created when they have recognized that the greatness of man is to accept his insignificance, his human condition and his earth, and to thank God for having put in a finite body the seeds of eternity which are visible in small and daily gestures of love and forgiveness. The beauty of man is in this fidelity to the wonder of each day.”
August Friedrich Siegert – The Small Connoisseur
It is easier to be wise for others than for ourselves.
François de La Rochefoucauld
Knowing yourself is the beginning of all wisdom.
Honesty is the first chapter of the book wisdom.
Wisdom cannot be imparted.
Wisdom that a wise man attempts to impart
always sounds like foolishness to someone else.
Knowledge can be communicated, but not wisdom.
One can find it, live it, do wonders through it,
but one cannot communicate and teach it.
We don’t receive wisdom;
we must discover it for ourselves after a journey
that no one can take for us or spare us.
The fool doth think he is wise,
but the wise man knows himself to be a fool.
People who know little are usually great talkers,
while men who know much say little.
The more I read, the more I acquire,
the more certain I am that I know nothing.
It is unwise to be too sure of one’s own wisdom.
It is healthy to be reminded
that the strongest might weaken and the wisest might err.