Quotations: Carpe Diem
Here's to him who makes the best
I still find each day too short for all the thoughts I want to think, all the walks I want to take, all the books I want to read and all the friends I want to see. ~John Burroughs
Another day, another day,
And yet another, glides away!
Heroic plans in pleasure drown'd...
Thus, week by week, and day by day,
His life inglorious glides away...
~Walter Scott, The Bridal of Triermain, 1813
Never forget that you must die; that death will come sooner than you expect... God has written the letters of death upon your hands. In the inside of your hands you will see the letters M.M. It means "Memento Mori" — remember you must die. ~J. Furniss, Tracts for Spiritual Reading
Remember you must die whether you sit about moping all day long or whether on feast days you stretch out in a green field, happy with a bottle of Falernian from your innermost cellar. ~Horace
There are a million ways to lose a work day, but not even a single way to get one back. ~Tom DeMarco and Timothy Lister
To change one's life: Start immediately. Do it flamboyantly. No exceptions. ~William James
I cannot live fast enough!
For a swirl of rushing air
Catches the red leaves from my feet
And scatters them everywhere.
I cannot live fast enough!
Look! those trees were green and are bare
And over the cold horizon hills
The winter sun-fires glare.
I have not lived fast enough!
I must hurry, must run, must dare,
There is time yet for a red leaf
To tangle itself in my hair!
~Eda Lou Walton, "A Song," c.1919
Why must conversions always come so late? Why do people always apologize to corpses? ~David Brin
A man that is young in years may be old in hours, if he has lost no time. ~Francis Bacon, Essays
You will never find time for anything. If you want time you must make it. ~Charles Buxton
Men for the sake of getting a living forget to live. ~Margaret Fuller
If we live each day,
live each day as the last—
if we should live each day,
we live a thousand years.
~Terri Guillemets, "Life is a blessing, friends," 2019, blackout poetry created from Jess Lair, "I ain't much, baby — but I'm all I've got.", 1969, page 131
Death twitches my ear. "Live," he says, "I am coming." ~Virgil, Minor Poems, Copa
"It seems, then, you are determined not to enjoy a cheerful quiet day until one can swear to you on the Gospel that no miserable, dark, cloudy day will follow it. In that case you can never enjoy one. What king and emperor even, had he thrones upon his head and crowns to sit on, can be assured that his post-day or diet-day will not bring him some cloud? and yet he enjoys his bright day... without further question, and thus rejoices in his life...."
"I can prove the same thing to you in Greek and in print," said he; upon which he took down the Testament, and opening it, inserted the following passage, which he read off extempore. "If thou deferrest the heart's celebration of a period of bliss until another cometh, when all hopes of thy future years shall lie spread out before thee in unclouded sequence and beauty, then is there no joy conceivable upon our ever-changing sphere, for after ten days or ten years a sorrow shall surely come; and thus thou canst not take delight in a May-day, even though it were to rain blossoms and nightingales upon thee, since the winter shall most assuredly cover thee with its snowflakes and nights. But if thou wilt enjoy thy warm youth, not terrified by the ice-pit of old age, which awaits thee in the background, and in which, under an ever-increasing cold, thou wilt be preserved for a season, then look upon the glad to‑day as a long youth, and upon the sad to‑morrow as a short old age." ~Jean Paul Friedrich Richter (1763–1825), Flower, Fruit, and Thorn Pieces: or, The Married Life, Death, and Wedding of The Advocate of the Poor, Firmian Stanislaus Siebenkäs, 1796, translated from the German by Edward Henry Noel, 1845
Death is at the end of everyone's map. But Life is the capital city, and you are here — and now. ~Terri Guillemets, "You Are Here," 2003
He has spent all his life in letting down empty buckets into empty wells; and he is frittering away his age in trying to draw them up again. ~Sydney Smith
Fear not that life shall come to an end, but rather fear that it shall never have a beginning. ~John Henry Cardinal Newman
You live longer once you realize that any time spent being unhappy is wasted. ~Ruth E. Renkl
You may delay, but time will not. ~Benjamin Franklin
We cannot waste time. We can only waste ourselves. ~George M. Adams
How we spend our days is, of course, how we spend our lives. ~Annie Dillard, The Writing Life
Flowers are fragrant metaphors —
Happy colors sing "Carpe diem!"
Wilting whispers "Memento mori."
I would I could stand on a busy corner, hat in hand, and beg people to throw me all their wasted hours. ~Bernard Berenson
I have spent my days stringing and unstringing my instrument, while the song I came to sing remains unsung. ~Tagore
Alas for those that never sing,
But die with all their music in them.
~Oliver Wendell Holmes, "The Voiceless"
Contemplation often makes life miserable. We should act more, think less, and stop watching ourselves live. ~Nicolas de Chamfort
I held a moment in my hand, brilliant as a star, fragile as a flower, a tiny sliver of one hour. I dripped it carelessly, Ah! I didn't know, I held opportunity. ~Hazel Lee
Gather ye rose-buds while ye may;
Old Time is still a-flying;
And this same flower that smiles today,
Tomorrow will be dying.
We die daily. Happy those who daily come to life as well. ~George MacDonald
Most of us spend our lives as if we had another one in the bank. ~Ben Irwin
Carefree to be, as a bird that sings;
To go my own sweet way;
To reck not at all what may befall,
But to live and to love each day.
~Robert W. Service (1874–1958), "A Rolling Stone," 1912
If you wait, all that happens is that you get older. ~Larry McMurtry, Some Can Whistle
Minutes are worth more than money. Spend them wisely. ~Thomas P. Murphy
There is a bunch of things we mean to do, and life is the time we spend meaning to do them. ~Robert Brault, rbrault.blogspot.com
When your life flashes before your eyes, make sure you've got plenty to watch. ~Author unknown, from a television commercial
Begin doing what you want to do now. We have only this moment, sparkling like a star in our hand, and melting like a snowflake. ~Marie Ray
Make the most of moments of serenity, which can be revoked at any time. ~Dr. SunWolf, professorsunwolf.com
I try to treat each evening and weekend as little slices of retirement because no one is guaranteed a lengthy one at the end of their career. ~Mike Hammar
Life is a flash of lightning in the dark of night. It is a brief time of tremendous potential. ~B. Alan Wallace
It's funny how life can get away from you even while you're still living it. ~Joe Kita, "The Key to Happiness," Wisdom of Our Fathers, 1999
One can make a day of any size... ~John Muir, August 1875 [I love how this sounds like it could so beautifully apply to the "carpe diem" concept which is why I placed it on this page, but a note of context here: This is actually about hours of light in a day, "The glories of a mountain campfire are far greater than may be guessed.... One can make a day of any size, and regulate the rising and setting of his own sun and the brightness of its shining."
In theory one is aware that the earth revolves, but in practice one does not perceive it, the ground upon which one treads seems not to move, and one can live undisturbed. So it is with Time in one's life. ~Marcel Proust, The Past Recaptured, 1927
A simple definition of life: The chance you've been waiting for. ~Robert Brault, rbrault.blogspot.com
If you spend your life waiting for a chance, you are spending your chance waiting. ~Robert Brault, rbrault.blogspot.com
There's time enough, but none to spare. ~Charles W. Chesnutt
Don't put off your happy life. ~Author Unknown
Our time consumes like smoke, and posts away;
Nor can we treasure up a month or day:
The sand within the transitory glass
Doth haste, and so our silent minutes pass.
If I could only remember that the days were, not bricks to be laid row on row, to be built into a solid house, where one might dwell in safety and peace, but only food for the fires of the heart. ~Edmund Wilson
The more side roads you stop to explore, the less likely that life will pass you by. ~Robert Brault, rbrault.blogspot.com
...Tell me, what is it you plan to do
with your one wild and precious life?
~Mary Oliver, "The Summer Day" (poem)
If we would only give, just once, the same amount of reflection to what we want to get out of life that we give to the question of what to do with a two weeks' vacation, we would be startled at our false standards and the aimless procession of our busy days. ~Dorothy Canfield Fisher
Every day of our lives we are on the verge of making those slight changes that would make all the difference. ~Mignon McLaughlin, The Neurotic's Notebook, 1960
Had I not lived with Mirabeau, I never should have known all that can be done in a day, or, rather, in an interval of twelve hours. A day to him was of more value than a week or a month to others. To‑morrow to him was not the same impostor as to most others. ~Pierre Étienne Louis Dumont
The word "now" is like a bomb through the window, and it ticks. ~Arthur Miller, After the Fall, 1964
But I am greedy for life. I do too much of everything all the time. Suddenly one day my heart will fail. The Iron Crab will get me as it got my father. But I am not afraid of The Crab. At least I shall have died from an honourable disease. Perhaps they will put on my tombstone "This Man Died from Living Too Much." ~Ian Fleming, From Russia with Love
What to do with your one life? The same thing you would do if you had two lives, and this were the second. ~Robert Brault, rbrault.blogspot.com
Use your health, even to the point of wearing it out. That is what it is for. Spend all you have before you die; do not outlive yourself. ~George Bernard Shaw
The clock talked loud. I threw it away, it scared me what it talked. ~Tillie Olsen, Tell Me a Riddle
Time is like the wind
That comes in the morning
With a barely palpable caress of the cheek
Rising to a comfortable caress
In its measured passage of the day
Until it rises a sudden gale
Revealing the irrevocability of its power
Trembling our browning leaves
And blowing them to our finality.
~Phillip Pulfrey, from Beyond Me, www.originals.net
Life happens too fast for you ever to think about it. If you could just persuade people of this, but they insist on amassing information. ~Kurt Vonnegut, Jr.
Here I am trying to live, or rather, I am trying to teach the death within me how to live. ~Jean Cocteau
When you were born, you cried and the world rejoiced. Live your life in such a manner that when you die the world cries and you rejoice. ~Indian Saying
Warning: Dates in Calendar are closer than they appear. ~Author Unknown
Autumn will come whether or not you enjoyed summer. ~Terri Guillemets
If life has those moments — ecstasies of health, youth and peace... — treasure them. ~Byron Caldwell Smith, letter to Kate Stephens
Do you know that disease and death must needs overtake us, no matter what we are doing?... what do you wish to be doing when it overtakes you?... If you have anything better to be doing when you are so overtaken, get to work on that. ~Epictetus
Each day is an opportunity to travel back into tomorrow's past and change it. ~Robert Brault, rbrault.blogspot.com
Whether it's the best of times or the worst of times, it's the only time we've got. ~Art Buchwald
You'll wake up
it will all
— this life —
~Alice Walker, from "The Taste of Grudge," Hard Times Require Furious Dancing, 2010
Who has never killed an hour? Not casually or without thought, but carefully: a premeditated murder of minutes. The violence comes from a combination of giving up, not caring, and a resignation that getting past it is all you can hope to accomplish. So you kill the hour. You do not work, you do not read, you do not daydream. If you sleep it is not because you need to sleep. And when at least it is over, there is no evidence: no weapon, no blood, and no body. The only clue might be the shadows beneath your eyes or a terribly thin line near the corner of your mouth indicating something has been suffered, that in the privacy of your life you have lost something and the loss is too empty to share. ~Mark Z. Danielewski, House of Leaves
If you woke up breathing, congratulations! You have another chance. ~Andrea Boydston
though love be a day and life be nothing, it shall not stop kissing. ~e.e. cummings
There are many To-morrows, my Love, my Love, -
There is only one To-day.
Life is always walking up to us and saying, "Come on in, the living's fine," and what do we do? Back off and take its picture. ~Russell Baker
Catch, then, oh catch the transient hour;
Improve each moment as it flies!
Life's a short summer, man a flower;
He dies — alas! how soon he dies!
There's never enough time to do all the nothing you want. ~Bill Watterson, Calvin and Hobbes
To-morrow — oh, 'twill never be,
If we should live a thousand years!
Our time is all to-day, to-day,
The same, though changed; and while it flies
With still small voice the moments say:
"To-day, to-day, be wise, be wise."
~James Montgomery, To-day
I admire the man who exclaimed, "I have lost a day!" because he had neglected to do any good in the course of it.... ~Author unknown, "Flowers of Literature," 1803
The problem with putting off things you've always wanted to do is that eventually you run out of always. ~Robert Brault, rbrault.blogspot.com
I don't want to get to the end of my life and find that I lived just the length of it. I want to have lived the width of it as well. ~Diane Ackerman
Men talk of killing time, while time quietly kills them. ~Dion Boucicault
If you were going to die soon and had only one phone call you could make, who would you call and what would you say? And why are you waiting? ~Stephen Levine
Why be saddled with this thing called life expectancy? Of what relevance to an individual is such a statistic? Am I to concern myself with an allotment of days I never had and was never promised? Must I check off each day of my life as if I am subtracting from this imaginary hoard? No, on the contrary, I will add each day of my life to my treasure of days lived. And with each day, my treasure will grow, not diminish. ~Robert Brault, rbrault.blogspot.com
The fear of death follows from the fear of life. A man who lives fully is prepared to die at any time. ~Author unknown
What would be the use of immortality to a person who cannot use well a half an hour. ~Ralph Waldo Emerson
Seize Time by the forelock for he is bald behind. ~Proverb [This concept dates back to the ancient Greek philosophers.
Time wears all his locks before,
Take thy hold upon his forehead;
When he flies, he turns no more,
And behind his scalp is naked.
~Robert Southwell, "Loss in Delays"
Time is painted with wings, and is bald behinde; should we not fear, and catch Time by the forelock? ~Nathanael Vincent, 1670s
But this must be the work of Time, we must lay hold on all Opportunities, and let slip no Occasion, else we shall be forced to weave Penelope's Web, unravel in the Night what we did in the Day. And therefore I have observed that Time is Painted with a Lock before, and Bald behind, signifying thereby that we must take Time (as we say) by the Forelock, for when 'tis once past, there is no recalling it. ~Jonathan Swift, "A Tritical Essay upon the Faculties of the Mind," 1707 August 6th
If the wise "take time by the forelock," the foolish must by the tail. ~James Lendall Basford (1845–1915), Sparks from the Philosopher's Stone, 1882
It seems no more than right that men should seize time by the forelock, for the rude old fellow, sooner or later, pulls all their hair out. ~George Denison Prentice, Prenticeana; Or, Wit and Humor in Paragraphs, 1859
Old Time the clock-setter, that bald sexton Time. ~William Shakespeare, King John [III, 1, Philip the Bastard]
But on Occasion's forelock watchful wait. ~John Milton, Paradise Regain'd, 1671
Who knows whether the gods will add tomorrow to the present hour? ~Horace
Our repugnance to death increases in proportion to our consciousness of having lived in vain. ~William Hazlitt, On the Love of Life, 1815
Those who make the worst use of their time are the first to complain of its shortness. ~Jean de La Bruyère
Is there life before death? ~Author Unknown
It's a mere moment in a man's life between an All-Star Game and an Old-timers' Game. ~Vin Scully
Cowards die many times before their deaths;
The valiant never taste of death but once.
~William Shakespeare, Julius Caesar, 1600
When we lose one we love, our bitterest tears are called forth by the memory of hours when we loved not enough. ~Maurice Maeterlinck, Wisdom and Destiny, 1901, translated by Alfred Sutro
If you could travel back in time to the present moment, what would you do differently? ~Robert Brault, rbrault.blogspot.com
When it comes time to die, make sure all you got to do is die. ~Attributed to Jim Elliot
Regret for wasted time is more wasted time. ~Mason Cooley
the warm seed of life
the green stem of living
sweet carpe-diem flowers
I think I don't regret a single 'excess' of my responsive youth — I only regret, in my chilled age, certain occasions and possibilities I didn't embrace. ~Henry James
Today is the first day I am not dead... And we're having a party. ~Garth Stein, The Art of Racing in the Rain, 2008
When a man knows he is to be hanged in a fortnight, it concentrates his mind wonderfully. ~Samuel Johnson
Every day you are alive is a special occasion. Every minute, every breath, is a gift from God. ~Mary Manin Morrissey
Eventually you realize that your whole life up to now has been preparation, and you begin to suspect that the rest might be preparation, too. ~Robert Brault, rbrault.blogspot.com
Expect an early death — it will keep you busier. ~Martin H. Fischer
Fields can lie fallow, but we can't; we have less time. ~Mignon McLaughlin, The Second Neurotic's Notebook, 1966
No! no arresting the vast wheel of time,
That round and round still turns with onward might.
~Charles Cowden Clarke
Every day is an opportunity to make a new happy ending. ~Author Unknown
Waiting for the fish to bite
or waiting for wind to fly a kite
or waiting around for Friday night
or waiting, perhaps, for their Uncle Jake
or a pot to boil, or a Better Break
or a string of pearls, or a pair of pants
or a wig with curls, or Another Chance.
Everyone is just waiting...
~Dr. Seuss, Oh, the Places You'll Go!, 1990
The butterfly counts not months but moments, and has time enough. ~Rabindranath Tagore
The question for each man is not what he would do if he had the means, time, influence, and educational advantages, but what he will do with the things he has. ~Hamilton
May you live all the days of your life. ~Jonathan Swift
Day, n. A period of twenty-four hours, mostly misspent. ~Ambrose Bierce
Yiipppeeee! It's a new day! A special day. It's today! ~Terri Guillemets
Live as you will wish to have lived when you are dying. ~Christian Furchtegott Gellert
There was George, throwing away in hideous sloth the inestimable gift of time; his valuable life, every second of which he would have to account for hereafter, passing away from him, unused.... sprawling there, sunk in soul-clogging oblivion. ~Jerome K. Jerome, Three Men in a Boat (To Say Nothing of the Dog), 1889
Life is not long, and too much of it must not pass in idle deliberation how it shall be spent. ~Samuel Johnson
The swift years slip and slide adown the steep;
The slow years pass; neither will come again.
The proper function of man is to live, not to exist. I shall not waste my days in trying to prolong them. ~Jack London
Write it on your heart that every day is the best day in the year. No man has learned anything rightly, until he knows that every day is Doomsday. ~Ralph Waldo Emerson
Later never exists. ~Author Unknown
The time you think you're missing misses you too. ~Terri Guillemets
Many people take no care of their money till they come nearly to the end of it, and others do just the same with their time. ~Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
If you believe in forever, then life is just a one-night stand. ~Righteous Brothers, "Rock & Roll Heaven"
If a butterfly lands on your shoulder, don't wait until later to enjoy it. ~Terri Guillemets
That it will never come again
Is what makes life so sweet...
Most people die at the last minute; others twenty years beforehand, some even earlier. They are the wretched of the earth. ~Louis Céline, Voyage au bout du monde, 1932
Let us endeavor so to live that when we come to die even the undertaker will be sorry. ~Mark Twain
Life is what happens to us while we are making other plans. ~Allen Saunders, 1957
The value of moments, when cast up, is immense, if well employed; if thrown away, their loss is irrevocable. ~Lord Chesterfield
A lifetime is a moment
or if you're lucky — a few.
Live every blade of grass
Soar with your wings while
you still can fly.
Taste every fleeting second
Bloom towards the infinite sky.
~Terri Guillemets, "Lifebloom," 2011
Waste not the smallest thing created, for grains of sand make mountains, and atomies infinity. Waste not the smallest time in imbecile infirmity, for well thou knowest that seconds form eternity. ~E. Knight
Lost time is never found again. ~Benjamin Franklin
The bitterest tears shed over graves are for words left unsaid and for deeds left undone. ~Harriet Beecher Stowe, Little Foxes, 1865
I wasted time, and now doth time waste me. ~William Shakespeare
Only that day dawns to which we are awake. ~Henry David Thoreau
Life moves pretty fast. If you don't stop to look around once in a while you could miss it. ~From the movie Ferris Bueller's Day Off
Every second is of infinite value. ~Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
We are always getting ready to live but never living. ~Ralph Waldo Emerson
The future has a way of arriving unannounced. ~George F. Will
We do not do what we want and yet we are responsible for what we are — that is the fact. ~Jean Paul Sartre, Situations, 1939
Time goes, you say? Ah no!
Alas, Time stays, we go.
~Henry Austin Dobson
Regret for the things we did can be tempered by time; it is regret for the things we did not do that is inconsolable. ~Sydney J. Harris
No man is quick enough to enjoy life to the full. ~Spanish Proverb
Time is a great teacher, but unfortunately it kills all its pupils. ~Hector Berlioz
Waste your money and you're only out of money, but waste your time and you've lost a part of your life. ~Michael Leboeuf
You don't get to choose how you're going to die. Or when. You can only decide how you're going to live. Now. ~Joan Baez
The follies which a man regrets most in his life are those which he didn't commit when he had the opportunity. ~Helen Rowland
Who well lives, long lives; for this age of ours should not be numbered by years, days, and hours. ~Guillaume de Salluste Du Bartas, Divine Weeks and Works, 1578
Life, if well lived, is long enough. ~Seneca, De Ira
There are but three events in a man's life: birth, life, and death. He is not conscious of being born, he dies in pain, and he forgets to live. ~Jean de la Bruyère
What a folly to dread the thought of throwing away life at once, and yet have no regard to throwing it away by parcels and piecemeal. ~John Howe
So much of our time is preparation, so much is routine, and so much retrospect, that the path of each man's genius contracts itself to a very few hours. ~Ralph Waldo Emerson
'Tis better to buy a small bouquet
And give to your friend this very day,
Than a bushel of roses white and red
To lay on his coffin after he's dead.
The tragedy of life is not that it ends so soon, but that we wait so long to begin it. ~Author unknown, sometimes attributed to W.M. Lewis
When one has a great deal to put into it a day has a hundred pockets. ~Friedrich Nietzsche, Human, All Too Human
Each day comes bearing its own gifts. Untie the ribbons. ~Ruth Ann Schabacker
The moment when you first wake up in the morning is the most wonderful of the twenty-four hours. No matter how weary or dreary you may feel, you possess the certainty that, during the day that lies before you, absolutely anything may happen. And the fact that it practically always doesn't, matters not a jot. The possibility is always there. ~Monica Baldwin
We're fools whether we dance or not, so we might as well dance. ~Japanese Proverb
When one subtracts from life infancy (which is vegetation), sleep, eating and swilling, buttoning and unbuttoning — how much remains of downright existence? The summer of a dormouse. ~Lord Byron
I ask of life happiness in the little moments, because those little moments pass so quickly, just as life does. ~Jess Santos, January 2012 entry to The Quote Garden create your own quote contest on Twitter
Don't ever save anything for a special occasion. Being alive is the special occasion. ~Author Unknown