Saturday, March 30, 2013

Lynda Barry:

The key to eternal happiness is low overhead and no debt.

Friday, March 29, 2013

Anne Lamott:

Wow is John Muir, Walt Whitman, Mary Oliver saying that the sun was the "best preacher that ever was."

Help, Thanks, Wow, p. 72

Thursday, March 28, 2013

Rita Mae Brown:

As much as our enemies hate being challenged, it makes them respect you even as they hate you.  No one respects a wuss.

Rita Will, p. 464

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Peter Enns:

The scandal of the Evangelical mind is that degrees, books, papers, and other marks of prestige are valued -- provided you come to predetermined conclusions.

"The Deeper Scandal of the Evangelical Mind: We Are Not Allowed to Use It"

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Ellen DeGeneres:

It's hard to understand failure when you're going through it, but in the grand scheme of things it's good to fall down -- not because you're drunk and not near stairs.  But it's failure that gives you the proper perspective on success.

Seriously...I'm Kidding, p. 30

Monday, March 25, 2013

Jennifer Knapp:

Christianity prepared me to love my same-sex partner.

"My Faith Taught Me To Love"

Sunday, March 24, 2013

Frank Schaeffer:

The smell of incense, the sound of Byzantine chant in Greek -- in a language I don't speak -- the glitter of an old icon in a darkened church, the voices of a gospel choir, the heartfelt cry of young warriors "speak" to me in nonverbal, nonintellectual ways.  At those moments I'm not visiting a black church as a white man, I'm not visiting Fort Benning and the Rangers, nor am I trying to figure out what the Greek chant "means."  I am not doing anything at all.  I am being human.  And I believe I am experiencing God.

Patience With God, p. 158

Saturday, March 23, 2013

Anna Quindlen:

Don't cave to the status quo.  Don't trade happiness for deferred gratification.  Don't give up adventure for safety and security.  The safe is the enemy of the satisfying.  "I don't know," is one of the most exciting sentences in the English language, because in the right hands it suggests, not ignorance, but discovery.  It's the beginning of news reporting, medical research, stage preparation, business creation, legislation.

Grinnell College Commencement Address

Friday, March 22, 2013

Anne Lamott:

"Wow" is about having one's mind blown by the mesmerizing or the miraculous: the veins in a leaf, birdsong, volcanoes.

Help, Thanks, Wow, p. 71

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Rita Mae Brown:

Oppression works in such a way that it holds every person responsible for the acts of any wrongdoer of the oppressed group.

Rita Will, p. 454

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Paul Auster:

Each book is a new book. I’ve never written it before and I have to teach myself how to write it as I go along. The fact that I’ve written books in the past seems to play no part in it. I always feel like a beginner and I’m continually running into the same difficulties, the same blocks, the same despairs. You make so many mistakes as a writer, cross out so many bad sentences and ideas, discard so many worthless pages, that finally what you learn is how stupid you are. It’s a humbling occupation.

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Ellen DeGeneres:

If we lived each day as our last, I bet we'd all be a lot more honest with people, because we wouldn't have to care what people think anymore.

Seriously...I'm Kidding, p. 29

Monday, March 18, 2013

Derrick Brown:

People are only used to the poetry they were exposed to in school.  I feel like it’s the ‘50s and people have only heard jazz and the minute they hear some rock ‘n’ roll they’re going to love it. We just need to let them hear it.

"Poetry store Write Bloody thrives in Austin"

Sunday, March 17, 2013

Frank Schaeffer:

The God of love is in that rolling thunder pouring from a Hammond B-3 electric organ, providing the heart-stopping link that holds together so much luminous black gospel music.  The God of love is in the perfume of clouds of incense at the Orthodox midnight Easter service as we shout "Christ is risen!"  The God of love is in those first imperishable notes on Miles Davis's album Kind of Blue.  The God of love is in the tender way (my granddaughter) Lucy lays her check on mine and we cling to each other for dear life as this speck of a spaceship we call Earth hurtles into the vast unknown.

Patience With God, p. 157

Saturday, March 16, 2013

Anna Quindlen:

Think back to first grade when you could still hear the sound of your own voice in your head, when you were too young, too unformed, too fantastic to understand that you were supposed to take on the protective coloration of the expectations of those around you, when you were absolutely, certainly, unapologetically yourself, when you were not afraid of anything.

Grinnell College Commencement Address

Friday, March 15, 2013

Anne Lamott:

"Wow" means we are not dulled to wonder.  We click into being fully present when we're stunned into that gasp, by the sight of a birth, or images of the World Trade Center towers falling, or the experience of being in a fjord, at dawn, for the first time.

Help, Thanks, Wow, p. 71

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Rita Mae Brown:

What I do love is having tea with a friend.  Because I want to know what people think and feel, I like intimate gatherings.  Teatime is my favorite time of day, the best time to see people.  Also, since I don't drink, having tea spares me the ordeal of dinner, where you run the risk of your dinner partner or partners bending their elbow and becoming increasingly less witty.  A few people become more witty with alcohol -- precious few.

Rita Will, p. 284

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Paul Auster:

You find the book in the process of doing it.  That's the adventure of the job.

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Ellen DeGeneres:

And the bottom line is we are who we are -- we look a certain way, we talk a certain way, we walk a certain way.  I strut because I'm a supermodel, and sometimes I gallop for fun.  When we learn to accept that, other people learn to accept us.  So be who you really are.  Embrace who you are.  Literally.  Hug yourself.  Accept who you are.  Unless you're a serial killer.

Seriously...I'm Kidding, p. 9

Monday, March 11, 2013

Thomas Paine:

Belief in a cruel God makes a cruel man.

Sunday, March 10, 2013

Frank Schaeffer:

Embracing paradox -- in other words, admitting the truth of our limits -- is not good enough for many people, though, especially for pastors, religious leaders, and/or the New Atheists earning a living by selling certainty.  They feed a public who crave lifetime warranties.  Churches, seminaries, (Richard) Dawkins's website, and other bastions of fundamentalism will not keep the pay checks coming if you stand up and say "I could be, and, given the odds, probably am, wrong," let alone "I can only know what I don't know!"

Patience With God, p. 152-153

Saturday, March 9, 2013

Anna Quindlen:

The voices of conformity speak so loudly.  Don't listen to them.  People are going to tell you what you ought to think and how you ought to feel.  They will tell you what to read and how to live.  They will urge you to take jobs they loathe themselves and to follow safe paths that they themselves find tedious.  Don't do it.  Only a principled refusal to be terrorized by these stingy standards will save you from a Frankenstein life made up of others' expectations grafted together into a poor semblance of existence.  You can't afford to do that.  It's what has poisoned our culture, our community and our nation character.  No one ever does the right thing from fear and so many of the wrong things are done in its shadow.

Grinnell College Commencement Address

Friday, March 8, 2013

Anne Lamott:

Gorgeous, amazing things come into our lives when we are paying attention: mangoes, grandnieces, Bach, ponds.

Help, Thanks, Wow, p. 85

Thursday, March 7, 2013

Rita Mae Brown:

Hateful people force me to examine why they are hateful.

Rita Will, p. 464

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Donald Hall:

After college many English majors stop reading contemporary poetry.  Why not? They become involved in journalism or scholarship, essay writing or editing, brokerage or social work; they backslide from the undergraduate Church of Poetry.  Years later, glancing belatedly at the poetic scene, they tell us that poetry is dead.  They left poetry; therefore they blame poetry for leaving them.  Really, they lament their own aging.  Don't we all?  But some of us do not blame the current poets.

"Death to the Death of Poetry"

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Ellen DeGeneres:

It must be around forty, when you're "over the hill."  I don't even know what that means and why it's a bad thing.  When I go hiking and I get over the hill, that means I'm past the hard part and there's a snack in my future.  That's a good thing as far as I'm concerned.

Seriously...I'm Kidding, p. 8

Monday, March 4, 2013

Dorothy Gallagher:

The writer's business is to find the shape in unruly life and to serve her story.  Not, you may note, to serve her family, or to serve the truth, but to serve the story.

Sunday, March 3, 2013

Frank Schaeffer:

The idea that faith consists of signing on to a series of statements, such as "I believe in the Trinity" or "I believe that Jesus died for my sins" or "I believe that selfish genes rule!" and that somehow, by saying these things as sincerely as possible, I get "saved" or "enlightened" (the secular version of redemption) is crazy.  Saying words is not the same thing as understanding what they mean, let alone living by them.

Patience With God, p. 221

Saturday, March 2, 2013

Anna Quindlen:

But you have to learn to put the fear aside, or at least to refuse to allow it to rule you, because it's fear that tamps down our authentic selves, turns us into some patchwork collection of affectations and expectations, morays and mannerisms, some treadmill set to the prevailing speed of universal acceptability, the tyranny of homogeny, whether the homogeny of the straight world of the suits, or the spiky world of the avant-garde.

Grinnell College Commencement Address

Friday, March 1, 2013

Anne Lamott:

If we stay where we are, where we're stuck, where we're comfortable and safe, we die there.

Help, Thanks, Wow, p. 86