The Quote Collection Project

The words that keep me sane, influence how I see the world, make me smile, and teach me how to be

I have flipped through books, reading hundreds of opening and closing lines, across ages, across cultures, across aesthetic schools, and I have discovered that first lines are remarkably similar, even repeated, and that last lines are remarkably similar, even repeated. Of course in all cases they remain remarkably distinct, because the words belong to completely different poems. And I began to realize, reading these first and last lines, that there are not only the first and last lines of the lifelong sentence we each speak but also the first and last lines of the long piece of language delivered to us by others, by those we listen to. And in the best of all possible lives, that beginning and that end are the same: in poem after poem I encountered words that mark the first something made out of language that we hear as children repeated night after night, like a refrain: I love you. I am here with you. Don’t be afraid. Go to sleep now. And I encountered words that mark the last something made out of language that we hope to hear on earth: I love you. You are not alone. Don’t be afraid. Go to sleep now.

But it is growing damp and I must go in. Memory’s fog is rising. Among Emily Dickinson’s last words (in a letter). A woman whom everyone thought of as shut-in, homebound, cloistered, spoke as if she had been out, exploring the earth, her whole life, and it was finally time to go in. And it was.

"On Beginnings," Mary Ruefle, Madness, Rack, and Honey 

(via letters-to-nobody)

(Source: commovente, via atomized)

There were times when life’s problems were convincingly outweighed by its possibilities, and this, she felt, was one.

Alexander McCall Smith

(Source: vein, via a-thousand-words)

(Source: a-floral-dream, via dilution)

Our thoughts are the epochs in our lives, all else is but as a journal of the winds that blew while we were here.

Henry David Thoreau

If you have the words, there’s always a chance that you’ll find the way.

Seamus Heaney

Happiness. It was the place where passion, with all its dazzle and drumbeat, met something softer: homecoming and safety and pure sunbeam comfort. It was all those things, intertwined with the heat and the thrill, and it was as bright within her as a swallowed star.

Laini Taylor

If you aren’t in over your head, how do you know how tall you are?

T. S. Eliot

A musician must make music, an artist must paint, an poet must write, if he is to be ultimately at peace with himself. What a man can be, he must be.

Abraham Maslow

Sometimes remembering will lead to a story, which makes it forever. That’s what stories are for. Stories are for joining the past to the future. Stories are for those late hours in the night when you can’t remember how you got from where you were to where you are. Stories are for eternity, when memory is erased, when there is nothing to remember except the story.

Tim O’Brien, “The Things They Carried.”

I want to think again of dangerous and noble things. I want to be light and frolicsome. I want to be improbable and beautiful and afraid of nothing as though I had wings.

Mary Oliver

And what is the word for knowing your bones are made
 of midnight?

Bob Hicok, “Pank You Very Much” (via vulcandroid)

(via atomized)

Laughter is wine for the soul - laughter soft, or loud and deep, tinged through with seriousness - the hilarious declaration made by man that life is worth living.

Seán O’Casey

Study hard what interests you the most in the most undisciplined, irreverent and original manner possible.

Richard Feynman

These hands are yours. You can use them
for good, or for evil. And no amount of nature, biology, or DNA determines those decisions for you.

Sylvain Reynard