The Quote Garden
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Quotations about Life


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Let the days be steeped in color and perfume and music and loveliness; let them glow with all the fire of the opal, and reflect in their many-faceted hours a thousand charms and visions of beauty. Redeem time from cold and narrow calculations, and set it free to be lived with romance and ardor and imaginative intensity. Let it radiate joy, and let the basis of reality be glorified by the superstructure of romance in sympathies, and swift, unerring intuition. While living, let us live, not exist. ~Lilian Whiting (1847–1942), "Vibrations: Redemptive Social Agencies," The World Beautiful: Second Series, 1896


The most important ingredients of a successful life are good health, honesty, love of humanity, intellectual curiosity, and a sense of fun, with the additional mingling of the celestial and diabolic which prevents a human atom from taking himself seriously. ~Althea Warren, 1943 [a little altered –tg]


And the strongest emotion was that life was as precious as it was puzzling. It was an ecstacy because it was an adventure; it was an adventure because it was an opportunity. ~G. K. Chesterton, Orthodoxy


Life is a long road on a short journey. ~James Lendall Basford (1845–1915), Seven Seventy Seven Sensations, 1897


Human life is the source of deep suffering and gorgeous hope. ~Henry James Slack (1818–1896), The Ministry of the Beautiful, "Conversation I: The Cavern," 1850  [a little altered —tεᖇᖇ¡·g]


Numerous metaphors have been used to describe life. Among them is the metaphor of life as a battle. Try not to think of life in these terms because, if you regard life as a struggle, it will become one, and you will have little joy. It is far better to think of life as a journey in which the difficulties are hills to climb. The hills are there for a reason (even if you don't know what that reason is), and the sense of satisfaction after climbing the hill is almost always worth the effort. ~Richard E. Turner (1937–2011), The Grammar Curmudgeon, a.k.a. "The Mudge," "An Open Letter to My Grandson," January 1997


Existence rightly considered is a fair compromise between two instincts — the instinct of hoping one day to live, and the instinct to live here and now. ~Arnold Bennett (1867–1931)


If life is not an adventure it's a sad venture, and drear at the price. After all life is after all; it is not what you make it, but what it makes you. ~Kenneth Alfred Evelyn Alexander (c.1890–1953), "Live Wires and Dead Marines," in The New Zealand Railways Magazine, 1931 June 1st


God gives you a life and says, Okay, what are you going to do with it? ~Alice Cooper, interview with Cal Fussman, 2008 August 2nd, for Esquire's January 2009 eighth annual Meaning of Life issue


The world is hard and cruel. We are here none knows why, and we go none knows whither. We must be very humble. We must see the beauty of quietness. We must go through life so inconspicuously that Fate does not notice us. ~W. Somerset Maugham, The Moon and Sixpence, 1919


Every day has a little bit of beauty and a little bit of chaos. ~Tanisha, @burlappearlsandboots


We humans seem disastrously in love with this thing
(whatever it is) that glitters on the earth—
we call it life. We know no other.
~Euripides, Hippolytos, 428 BC, translated by Anne Carson, 2006  [Nurse —tεᖇᖇ¡·g]


There is a reason you were born and a bunch of things you've got to do today regardless. ~Robert Brault, rbrault.blogspot.com


Here, he could exist; "but mere existence is not enough," he sighed; "to live, one must have sunshine, freedom, and a little flower!" ~Hans Christian Andersen, "The Butterfly," translated by Caroline Peachey


[A]ll life budding like a rose and sparkling like its dew. ~Edgar Fawcett, "At a Window," Songs of Doubt and Dream, 1891


Man often acquires just so much knowledge as to discover his ignorance, and attains so much experience as to regret his follies, and then dies. ~William Benton Clulow, Horæ Otiosæ, 1833


If the world were merely seductive, that would be easy. If it were merely challenging, that would be no problem. But I arise in the morning torn between a desire to improve (or save) the world and a desire to enjoy (or savor) the world. This makes it hard to plan the day. ~E.B. White, quoted in Israel Shenker, "E.B. White: Notes and Comment by Author," New York Times, 1969 July 11th


Life is simple, it's just not easy. ~Author unknown


Life is not always fair — sometimes you get a splinter sliding down a rainbow. ~Terri Guillemets


The mass of men lead lives of quiet desperation. What is called resignation is confirmed desperation. From the desperate city you go into the desperate country, and have to console yourself with the bravery of minks and muskrats. A stereotyped but unconscious despair is concealed even under what are called the games and amusements of mankind. There is no play in them, for this comes after work. But it is a characteristic of wisdom not to do desperate things. ~Henry David Thoreau


Life is a foreign language: all men mispronounce it. ~Christopher Morley, Thunder on the Left, 1925


Forgive, O Lord, my little jokes on Thee,
And I'll forgive Thy great big one on me.
~Robert Frost, "Cluster of Faith," 1962


The line of life is a snarl of loops and ends. ~James Lendall Basford (1845–1915), Seven Seventy Seven Sensations, 1897


To live is so startling, it leaves but little room for other occupations... ~Emily Dickinson, letter, 1871


Yes, I will try to be. Because I believe that not being is arrogant. ~Antonio Porchia, Voces, 1943, translated from Spanish by W.S. Merwin


Life is the hyphen between matter and spirit. ~Augustus William Hare and Julius Charles Hare, Guesses at Truth, by Two Brothers, 1827


Duck...! Here comes another day!! ~Charles M. Schulz, Peanuts, 1974  [Sally to Charlie Brown —tg]


O God, I pray that not too much of calm be mine, but one day let the maddened rush of waters break against my soul. ~Muriel Strode (1875–1964), My Little Book of Prayer, 1904


In life we are all rolling stock running on the rails of Destiny, and if we fail to stop when flagged by Fate we miss our freight. On Life's railroad there is only one set of rails and no turntable. But why turn back; the scene improves as we travel onward; or we appreciate it better; that is, those who keep their eyes to the window. But there are some who would rather sleep than peep, and some who are so occupied with their ingrown eyebrows, their over-investments and under-devestments, the price of lead-headed eye-teeth, and the fate of the fat, that they are blind to the beauty of Being. Life should be like a train — eager, pressing forward as if bent on keeping a tryst with Time round the next bend; taking the grades sturdily, and running to Time.... A train is life in little, existence on distance, a fleeting thought, and a forward move. ~Kenneth Alfred Evelyn Alexander (c.1890–1953), "For Wheel or Whoa," in The New Zealand Railways Magazine, 1931 June 1st


I am in the firing line, in the front ranks. I have elected to be in the fire and the smoke, in the Battle of Being. ~Muriel Strode (1875–1964), My Little Book of Life, 1912


Life: the insomnia of death. ~Elbert Hubbard


Life: A compromise between Fate and Freewill. ~Elbert Hubbard


Life: What you choose to make it. ~Elbert Hubbard


Life: A bank-account with so much divine energy at your disposal. ~Elbert Hubbard


Life: The interval between the time your teeth are almost through and you are almost through with your teeth. ~Elbert Hubbard


Life: An affirmative between two negatives. ~Elbert Hubbard


Life is like a blanket too short. You pull it up and your toes rebel, you yank it down and shivers meander about your shoulder; but cheerful folks manage to draw their knees up and pass a very comfortable night. ~Marion Howard, quoted in Herbert V. Prochnow, Speaker's Handbook of Epigrams and Witticisms, 1955


Life is cruel? Compared to what? ~Edward Abbey, Vox Clamantis in Deserto, 1989


Life is hard? True — but let's love it anyhow, though it breaks every bone in our bodies. ~Edward Abbey, Vox Clamantis in Deserto, 1989


The plane of life is a frozen sea, on which all make many slips, and finally break through into eternity. ~James Lendall Basford (1845–1915), Sparks from the Philosopher's Stone, 1882



I think everybody should get rich and famous and do everything they ever dreamed of so they can see that it's not the answer. ~Jim Carrey


Life consigned us all to the pit, and she knew that there were those who would weep, and go, and those who would laugh at her, and stay. ~Muriel Strode (1875–1964), My Little Book of Life, 1912


The great business of life is to be, to do, to do without, and to depart. ~John, Viscount Morley, Address on Aphorisms


Sometimes life gives honey
      and other times, stings;
Sometimes you need roots
      and other times, wings.
~Terri Guillemets, "All," 1996


How gaily a man wakes in the morning to watch himself keep on dying! ~Henry Stanley Haskins, "La Vie Brève," Meditations in Wall Street, 1940


Life is just one damned thing after another! ~Author unknown, c.1909, see quoteinvestigator.com/2015/09/02/life-one


No man lives without jostling and being jostled; in all ways he has to elbow himself through the world, giving and receiving offence. ~Thomas Carlyle, Sir Walter Scott, in London and Westminster Review, 12 November 1838


I used to trouble about what life was for — now being alive seems sufficient reason. ~Joanna Field


the perfume of love
the stench of war
~Terri Guillemets


Life does not cease to be funny when people die any more than it ceases to be serious when people laugh. ~George Bernard Shaw, The Doctor's Dilemma, 1906


'Tis all a chequer board of nights and days,
Where destiny with men for pieces plays;
Hither and thither, and mates, and slays.
~Edward Fitzgerald, The Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyám, 1859


Life: It is about the gift not the package it comes in. ~Dennis P. Costea, Jr.


Don't believe the world owes you a living. The world owes you nothing. It was here first. ~Robert J. Burdette, 1883  [Thanks, Garson O'Toole of QuoteInvestigator.com! —tεᖇᖇ¡·g]


In such a complicated machine as this world of ours, in spite of our own little contributory efforts, we must, as regards the principal thing, it seems to me, be always gamblers in a lottery. ~Georg Christoph Lichtenberg (1742–1799), translated by Norman Alliston, 1908


I've learned never to be surprised if what must inevitably happen happens right now. ~Robert Brault, rbrault.blogspot.com


Give me that life that is seamed and riven with living. ~Muriel Strode (1875–1964), My Little Book of Life, 1912


Life was a damned muddle … a football game with every one off-side and the referee gotten rid of — every one claiming the referee would have been on his side… ~F. Scott Fitzgerald, This Side of Paradise, 1920


Life — A journey in which the roads never lead to where they profess to do. ~Charles Searle, Look Here!, 1885


Life is all too wondrous sweet, and the world is so beautifully bewildered; it is the dream of an intoxicated divinity... ~Heinrich Heine (d.1856), "Ideas: Book Le Grand," 1826, translated from German by Charles Godfrey Leland, Pictures of Travel, 1855


Life is like sailing. You can use any wind to go in any direction. ~Robert Brault, rbrault.blogspot.com


However we sail on the ocean of life our course is determined by Nature's trade-winds and Divinity's undertow. ~James Lendall Basford (1845–1915), Seven Seventy Seven Sensations, 1897


In life we all have an unspeakable secret, an irreversible regret, an unreachable dream and an unforgettable love. ~Diego Marchi


I stood afar off, watching the conflict of humanity, till wise old life came along and tossed me into the arena, saying, "There! take that, pedant, if you would know." ~Muriel Strode (1875–1964), My Little Book of Prayer, 1904


I count life just a stuff
To try the soul's strength on.
~Robert Browning


Life is an educational process you can't opt out of. You either learn the lesson, or you become the lesson. ~Robert Brault, rbrault.blogspot.com, 2018


Let Nature and let Art do what they please,
When all 's done, life is an incurable disease.
~Abraham Cowley, "To Dr. Scarborough"


Different shades of life make the painting more beautiful. ~Mike Dolan, @HawaiianLife


The only way to have a life is to commit to it like crazy. ~Angelina Jolie


Life is a mixed blessing, which we vainly try to unmix. ~Mignon McLaughlin, The Second Neurotic's Notebook, 1966, © Thomas Paine McLaughlin


In masks outrageous and austere
The years go by in single file;
But none has merited my fear,
And none has quite escaped my smile.
~Elinor Hoyt Wylie, Let No Charitable Hope


I say to my child, I will explain to you as much of life as I can, but you must remember that there is a part of life for which you are the explanation. ~Robert Brault, rbrault.blogspot.com


All the art of living lies in a fine mingling of letting go and holding on. ~Havelock Ellis, 1897


We tear life out of life to use it for looking at itself. ~Antonio Porchia, Voces, 1943, translated from Spanish by W.S. Merwin


Life is tough. If you don't have fun and smile and goof around, life will bog you down real fast... We should be so thankful what we get to do. We get to breathe everyday and eat everyday. We should be happy about that. ~Bubba Watson, 2019  [I attended an event in 2012 where Bubba gave a speech. Many people in the audience were in tears, even men I've never known to show much emotion. This guy is one of the most inspirational people and speakers on the planet, as far as I'm concerned. –tg]


Give us Lord, a bit o' sun,
A bit o' work and a bit o' fun;
Give us all in the struggle and sputter
Our daily bread and a bit o' butter.
~From an inn in Lancaster, England


The tragedy of life is not that man loses but that he almost wins. ~Heywood Broun, "Sport For Art's Sake," 1921


When compiling his great dictionary, the young Noah Webster travels to the Himalayas, where he climbs to the cave of the world's wisest man. "O, great sage," he says, "tell me the meaning of life." The sage sits Noah at his feet and, with great solemnity, commences to unfold the meaning of life. When finished, he places a hand on the young man's shoulder and says, "Do you have any other questions, my son?" Noah flips a page in his notebook and says, "You wouldn't know the meaning of lift, would you?" ~Robert Brault, rbrault.blogspot.com


Life is not writ neatly with a steady hand between the prescriptive lines of a uniform, copy-book page; it is chaotic at the core — full of false starts, cross-outs, misspellings, and unsightly blotches. It is inherently messy. ~Dr. Idel Dreimer, lumpenbangenpiano.com


I really enjoy life I'm just not good at it. ~Daniel, @blindedpoet


He who has nothing to die for has nothing to live for. ~Moroccan proverb


I wish to die knowing that I took a fleeting instant of eternity and fashioned from it a lifetime. ~Robert Brault, rbrault.blogspot.com


Opportunities and duties are the warp and woof of life. ~James Lendall Basford (1845–1915), Seven Seventy Seven Sensations, 1897


Suppose the world were only one of God's jokes, would you work any the less to make it a good joke instead of a bad one? ~George Bernard Shaw


There is a time early in life when there seem to be countless reasons for happiness, and then you discover your mom is making them up. ~Robert Brault, rbrault.blogspot.com


Despite our fears and worries, and they are very real to all of us, life continues — it goes on. In these three words I can sum up everything I have learned in my 80 years about life — it goes on. ~Robert Frost


Do not bite at the bait of pleasure until you know there is no hook beneath it. The art of life is the art of avoiding pain; and he is the best pilot who steers clearest of the rocks and shoals with which he is beset. ~Thomas Jefferson, letter to Mrs. Maria Cosway, 1786, Paris


This is how we know we're alive, I guess: we continue to feel pain. ~Abby Geni, The Lightkeepers, 2016


In the end, no thought is unthinkable, no problem unshrinkable, no two strangers unlinkable. ~Robert Brault, rbrault.blogspot.com


Not unfortunately the universe is wild, — game-flavored as a hawk's wing. ~Benjamin Paul Blood, The Flaw in Supremacy, 1893


The miracle is not to fly in the air, or to walk on the water, but to walk on the earth. ~Chinese proverb


People usually consider walking on water or in thin air a miracle. But I think the real miracle is not to walk either on water or in thin air, but to walk on earth. Every day we are engaged in a miracle which we don't even recognize: a blue sky, white clouds, green leaves, the black, curious eyes of a child — our own two eyes. All is a miracle. ~Thich Nhat Hanh


Life. — Enjoy whatever flowers come with the manure. ~Terri Guillemets


Life can be easy, it is only question of choosing between solutions and illusions. ~Didier D'haese


You can't have it all, all at once... Over my lifespan I think I have had it all. But in different periods of time things were rough. ~Ruth Bader Ginsburg


Life is a battlefield of broken dreams and pieced-together victories. ~Terri Guillemets


To give the reins to life! To loosen it from its leash, and know its free and unrestricted movement. To reach out and out, and feel not the tightening of the thong. ~Muriel Strode (1875–1964), My Little Book of Life, 1912


I set myself free into the blue-flowing sky,
I melt with the star-mist,
I am one with the moon's pourings.
I come limpid and easy to life,
Meeting its curves and its undulations, as the shore-line meets the sea,
As the sky meets the indenture of the hills.
~Muriel Strode (1875–1964), "Songs of Him: VII," A Soul's Faring, 1921


The true harvest of my daily life is somewhat as intangible and indescribable as the tints of morning or evening. It is a little stardust caught, a segment of the rainbow which I have clutched. ~Henry David Thoreau, "Higher Laws," Walden, or Life in the Woods, 1854


How you handle life depends a lot on how you handle plan B, or if you have a plan B. ~Nelson DeMille, The General's Daughter, 1992


Life is a brief opportunity to do something prehumously. ~Robert Brault, rbrault.blogspot.com


I come ravishing life with a wild riot of bloom. ~Muriel Strode (1875–1964), "A Soul's Faring: XLVII," A Soul's Faring, 1921  [a little altered —tεᖇᖇ¡·g]


Life, like a dome of many-coloured glass,
Stains the white radiance of Eternity...
~Percy Bysshe Shelley, "Adonais"


Sliding down the banister of life is so much more fun than ambling down the steps. ~Terri Guillemets


The banister of life is full of splinters, and he slideth down it with rapidity. ~Scott Way, "Man," in Puck, 1884 June 25th


Behold he glideth down the banister of life and findeth it strewn with the splinters of torture. ~John Collins, "Man," in The Medical Brief, October 1896


Sliding down the banister of life, man is stuck with the splinters of disappointment. When he reaches the bottom he is jabbed against the post of destruction. ~W.T. McAtee, in The Railway Conductor, April 1916


As you slide down the banister of life, may the splinters never point your way. ~Author unknown, c.1948


Out of a hundred years a few minutes were made that stayed with me, not a hundred years. ~Antonio Porchia, Voces, 1943, translated from Spanish by W.S. Merwin


Life is a search for the key that opens your own door. ~Terri Guillemets


Life is not fair, nor has it ever been, but the morning seems determined to dawn until it is. ~Robert Brault, rbrault.blogspot.com


After many a good time driving nails into our own coffins, we are carted off to the crematory. ~Henry Stanley Haskins, "The Silent Majority," Meditations in Wall Street, 1940


Life is but a mingled song,
Sung in divers keys;
Sweet and tender, brave and strong,
As the heart agrees.
~S.J. Adair Fitz-Gerald (1859–1925), The Zankiwank & The Bletherwitch, 1896


Mayhap the best thing I ever done in my life was only doing what was easiest for myself. It's allays been easier for me to work nor to sit still, but the real tough job for me 'ud be to master my own will and temper, and go right against my own pride.... perhaps nothing 'ud be a lesson to us if it didn't come too late. It's well we should feel as life's a reckoning we can't make twice over; there's no real making amends in this world, any more nor you can mend a wrong subtraction by doing your addition right. ~George Eliot, Adam Bede


We are like people with short-term leases on summer cottages; we can never seem to make our provisions come out even with our stay. ~Mignon McLaughlin, The Neurotic's Notebook, 1960


Life is a perpetual give and take with the universe. ~Terri Guillemets, "After all," 2003


The movement of life has to rest in its own music. ~Rabindranath Tagore, Stray Birds


Don't ever say you hate life.  That's blasphemy.  ~The Sopranos, "Meadowlands," 1999, written by Jason Cahill  [S1, E4, Christopher Moltisanti]


Life is a series of reactions that aren't what you intend, to situations that aren't what they seem. ~Robert Brault, rbrault.blogspot.com


Life is like running with scissors,
naked through freezing blizzards...
~Terri Guillemets


There is a lesson we learn early and harmlessly, or late and traumatically — that there are things we can break that our parents can't fix. ~Robert Brault, rbrault.blogspot.com


Life is a ticket to the greatest show on earth. ~Martin H. Fischer (1879–1962)  [It ends: "As a doctor you'll have a front seat." —tεᖇᖇ¡·g]


There were growling days and laughing days and days that mixed them up. ~Caron Levis, Ida, Always, 2016


Life is beautiful if you flow with its natural beauty. Resistance makes it ugly. ~Terri Guillemets


Life has no auto-settings. No batteries. You gots to wind it up! ~Jeb Dickerson, @JebDickerson


In the map of your life, the best place to be is at the intersection of Here and Now. You can't get to any other place you want to be without starting from there. ~Terri Guillemets


Few of us write great novels; all of us live them. ~Mignon McLaughlin, The Neurotic's Notebook, 1960


Things almost never turn out as horribly — or as wonderfully — as it seems they will. It's the occasional exception to this that keeps us on our toes, both in hope and in dread. ~David C. Hill, hill-kleerup.org/blog


[A]s if life were a thunder-storm wherein you can see by a flash the horizon, and then cannot see your hand... ~Ralph Waldo Emerson, "Inspiration"


It is while you are patiently toiling at little tasks that the meaning and shape of the great whole of life dawn upon you. ~Phillips Brooks


Some men in their passage through life resemble a frog: they go a little and stop a little—but always by fits and starts, jerks and jumps. ~James Lendall Basford (1845–1915), Sparks from the Philosopher's Stone, 1882


My quest for cosmic understanding is a book I have picked up and put down many times, always forgetting to insert a bookmark. ~Robert Brault, rbrault.blogspot.com


      [W]ith reference to our trip up the river of life.... How many people, on that voyage, load up the boat till it is ever in danger of swamping with a store of foolish things which they think essential to the pleasure and comfort of the trip, but which are really only useless lumber....
      It is lumber, man—all lumber! Throw it overboard. It makes the boat so heavy to pull, you nearly faint at the oars. It makes it so cumbersome and dangerous to manage, you never know a moment's freedom from anxiety and care, never gain a moment's rest for dreamy laziness—no time to watch the windy shadows skimming lightly o'er the shallows, or the glittering sunbeams flitting in and out among the ripples, or the great trees by the margin looking down at their own image, or the woods all green and golden, or the lilies white and yellow, or the sombre-waving rushes, or the sedges, or the orchids, or the blue forget-me-nots.
      Throw the lumber over, man! Let your boat of life be light, packed with only what you need—a homely home and simple pleasures, one or two friends, worth the name, someone to love and someone to love you, a cat, a dog, and a pipe or two, enough to eat and enough to wear, and a little more than enough to drink; for thirst is a dangerous thing.
      You will find the boat easier to pull then, and it will not be so liable to upset, and it will not matter so much if it does upset; good, plain merchandise will stand water. You will have time to think as well as to work. Time to drink in life's sunshine—time to listen to the Æolian music that the wind of God draws from the human heart-strings around us... ~Jerome K. Jerome, Three Men in a Boat (To Say Nothing of the Dog), 1889


The swing on your porch is a better liver of life than the chair in front of your computer. ~Terri Guillemets


To slake the thirst of being. To drink the draught, deep and cool, and satisfying. ~Muriel Strode (1875–1964), My Little Book of Life, 1912


Thoreau once thought the moon was larger over the United States than over the Old World, the sky bluer, the stars brighter, the thunder louder, the rivers longer, the mountains higher, the prairies vaster, and he mystically concluded that the spirit of man in America should be larger and more expansive "else why was America discovered?" Thoreau was wrong, and Thoreau was right. There is no value in life except what you choose to place upon it, and no happiness in any place except what you bring to it yourself. ~Lin Yutang, On the Wisdom of America


You live long enough in a world spinning on its axis, you learn to spin in the same direction. ~Robert Brault, rbrault.blogspot.com


When everything doesn't go perfectly as hoped, it isn't tragedy — it's life. ~Terri Guillemets


One day can make your life. One day can ruin your life. All life is is four or five big days that change everything. ~Riding in Cars with Boys, Beverly Donofrio (book), Morgan Ward (screenplay)


Life isn't fair, but it's still good. ~Author unknown


Life is a tragedy to those who really live her. ~Muriel Strode (1875–1964), My Little Book of Life, 1912


Life is a collection of moments you would have appreciated more if you had only known they were moments. ~Robert Brault, rbrault.blogspot.com


When life gives you lemonade, make lemons. Life will be all like, "What?!" ~"Phil's-osophy" by Phil Dunphy (written by Christopher Lloyd, Steven Levitan, and Dan O'Shannon, Modern Family, "Schooled," original airdate 2012 October 10th)


Life is woven of love and death, aches and smiles, persistence and letting go. ~Terri Guillemets


She did not believe in happy endings... not anymore. There were no endings in life except death. There was only the present moment, the passage of breath into breath, action and reaction, word after word, a story that was still being told. ~Abby Geni, The Wildlands, 2018


To feel life, to have the consciousness of it, as a mother feels the turning of her babe in the womb. ~Muriel Strode (1875–1964), My Little Book of Life, 1912


Life winks as it passes me by
And is gone before my own blink of eye.
~Terri Guillemets


Literature is mostly about having sex and not much about having children; life is the other way around. ~David Lodge, The British Museum Is Falling Down, 1965


One day... I shall come into a conscious sense of life, thrilling at its contact, quivering at the touch of its breath. I shall feel it deep in the nerve centers of my bones.... I shall feel it like the sting of bees. ~Muriel Strode (1875–1964), "A Soul's Faring: XXXVI," A Soul's Faring, 1921


So much light,
along with the darkness,
it's life —
just scary and
joyous life!
~Terri Guillemets


To drink the sunshine and to dream at night... ~Anonymous, "The Fall of Man"


Days upon days will be cast into the incinerator. I shall destroy the unmeaning and the unmeant.... I shall have real issues to confront. There shall be happenings in my days. Things shall come to pass. There shall be conflicts and decisions. There shall be loves and hates and burnings. ~Muriel Strode (1875–1964), "A Soul's Faring: LVII," A Soul's Faring, 1921


I, the atom of creation, have arrived...
I am life. I impinge you. I fall upon you with great weights.
I eviscerate you. I tap your arteries and drain you.
I am the insistent one. You cannot escape me.
I unsettle you. I make you moan over the nights and the days.
I bring you weeping, wringing your hands, crying out to the pale stars, promising an atoning.
~Muriel Strode (1875–1964), "Songs of the Strong: I," A Soul's Faring, 1921


You don't want to get to the end of life's journey and discover you never left the interstate. ~Robert Brault, rbrault.blogspot.com


      Let me ask you, O, you men of the time, who are bent upon pleasure... I beg of you, if by some chance this obscure book falls into your hands, do not smile with noble disdain, do not shrug your shoulders; do not be too sure that I complain of an imaginary evil; do not be too sure that human reason is the most beautiful of faculties, that there is nothing real here below but quotations on the Bourse, gambling in the salon, wine on the table, a healthy body, indifference toward others, and the orgies which come with the night.
      For some day, across your stagnant life, a gust of wind will blow. Those beautiful trees that you water with the stream of oblivion, Providence will destroy; you will be reduced to despair.... in short I tell you, all frozen as you are, you are capable of loving something; some fiber of your being will be torn and you will give vent to a cry that will resemble a moan of pain. Some day, wandering about the muddy streets, when daily material joys shall have failed, you will find yourself seated disconsolately on a deserted bench at midnight.
      O! men of marble, sublime egoists, inimitable reasoners who have never given way to despair or made a mistake in arithmetic, if this ever happens to you, at the hour of your ruin you will remember Abelard when he lost Heloise....
      Believe me, when in your distress you think of Abelard you will not look with the same eye... you will feel that the human reason can cure illusions but not sorrows; that God has use for Reason but He has not made her the sister of Charity.... You will look about you for something like hope, you will shake the doors of churches to see if they still swing, but you will find them walled up... destiny will mock at you and for reply give you a bottle of wine.... ~Alfred de Musset, The Confession of a Child of the Century/La Confession d'un enfant du siècle, 1836, translated from French by Kendall Warren


It's just life. Just live it. ~Terri Guillemets


[L]ife is just like a big puzzle but you can't look at it and focus, you've... just got to close your eyes and let it come together. ~Corey Miller, LA Ink, "LA Ink Grand Opening" (season 1, episode 3, original airdate 2007 August 21st)


Live for the roots
Love the green
Dance with the blossoms
~Terri Guillemets


Life is a process by which a few desperate longings morph into a thousand meaningless wants. ~Robert Brault, rbrault.blogspot.com


Many of us are equal to life's emergencies who cannot bear its day-after-dayness. ~Mignon McLaughlin, The Neurotic's Notebook, 1960


pink roses and gold glitter
barbed wire, withering vines
green hummingbirds, lark nests
avalanches and earthquakes —
Yep, life is like that.
~Terri Guillemets


Life is like an onion. You may peel off layer after layer until you reach the core — and then there is nothing. ~James Gibbons Huneker, Steeplejack


I swing like a kid
and fall like an adult;
cry tears of gratitude
and pray in smiles;
hug and love, and later
hide under the covers;
wildly and humbly living
from dawn to the stars,
and ever back again.
~Terri Guillemets, "The chaos-harmony of life," 2002  #infj


Life may be defined to be the power of self-augmentation or assimilation, not of self-nurture; for then a steam-engine over a coal-pit might be made to live. ~Augustus William Hare and Julius Charles Hare, Guesses at Truth, by Two Brothers, 1827


My friend asked me the essence of life and I smiled. ~Mike Dolan, @HawaiianLife


It just seems sometimes that you've lived your whole life preparing for an inspection that never happened. ~Robert Brault, rbrault.blogspot.com


To be glad of life, because it gives you the chance to love and to work and to play and to look up at the stars... ~Henry Van Dyke, "The Foot-Path to Peace"


This world is just a stage, and we
Must do our stunt of comedy,
Or mouth our tragic little book
Till Death shall murmur "Get the hook!"
~James P. Haverson (1880–1954), "Life," Sour Sonnets of a Sorehead & Other Songs of the Street, 1908


Shall I redirect my life's journey because down some sideroad might be some trifle I'm entitled to? ~Robert Brault, rbrault.blogspot.com


Life:  that narrow space between a rock and a hard place. ~Terri Guillemets


When you are older you will know that life is a long lesson in humility. ~J. M. Barrie, "The Night-Watchers," The Little Minister


There is a what-the-hell moment in life when you feel you have been pre-punished for every sin you'll ever commit. ~Robert Brault, rbrault.blogspot.com


You fool,
You have been dangling
For such a long time!
When will you seize the opportunity
Or feel the necessity
To untangle the taut knot
Of your bondage-life?
~Sri Chinmoy, Ten Thousand Flower-Flames


Life is a mortal maze, and only a few truly find their way. ~Terri Guillemets


In life, as in restaurants, we swallow a lot of indigestible stuff just because it comes with the dinner. ~Mignon McLaughlin, The Neurotic's Notebook, 1960


Sometimes in the poem of Life
we hit a defective verse.
Don't bother trying to rewrite it—
move along, don't make it worse.
~Terri Guillemets


To live is like to love — all reason is against it, and all healthy instinct for it. ~Samuel Butler


fragility of life,
finality of death
~Terri Guillemets


Sacrifice is stamped upon every created thing. ~James Lendall Basford (1845–1915), Sparks from the Philosopher's Stone, 1882


Life is an inconstant mix of aces and jokers, and often one is flipped face up when we're expecting the other. ~Terri Guillemets


[T]hat blessed mood,
In which the burthen of the mystery,
In which the heavy and the weary weight
Of all this unintelligible world,
Is lightened:—that serene and blessed mood,
In which the affections gently lead us on,—
Until, the breath of this corporeal frame
And even the motion of our human blood
Almost suspended, we are laid asleep
In body, and become a living soul:
While with an eye made quiet by the power
Of harmony, and the deep power of joy,
We see into the life of things.
~William Wordsworth, 1798


Though the circular round-and-round of routine be the bulk of life's affairs, make an occasional jutting diversion — of fun, love, or something that will outlast you — so that the shape and motion of your life shall resemble the lifegiving sun with bright rays shining forth from all directions. ~Terri Guillemets


LIFE.—A masked ball, where, in struggling through the crowd, and trying to penetrate the disguise of our neighbor, we are apt to forget our own part, until the waning lights warn us of the time to depart. ~"A Chapter of Definitions," Daily Crescent, 1848 June 23rd


I don't need to live a long time. I just want to live a good time. ~Terri Guillemets, "One year, then another," 1996


Life's a party. Invite yourself. ~Gary Johnson, @ZenTreeHouse, tweet, 2009


My life is half reality show, half Saturday morning cartoons. ~Terri Guillemets, "Real funny," 2003


The meanness of life, but the splendor of its possibilities!
The miserable thing I make of it, but the God-thing it might be!
I might drain it of its dead waters, and plant banks of roses, and glad trees, and buoyant grasses.
I might entice the wanton winds to dance through it, and the moonbeams to caper over it.
I might bring lovers to wander through its twilight fragrance.
~Muriel Strode (1875–1964), "A Soul's Faring: LXXXVIII," A Soul's Faring, 1921


You can hope for a miracle in your life, or you can realize that your life is the miracle. ~Robert Brault, rbrault.blogspot.com


What's your life's motto? Write one. And live by it. And revise it when life revises you. ~Terri Guillemets, "Don't cry, — rally!" 2009


Beauty is precious, you see, and the more beautiful something is, the more precious it is; and the more precious something is, the more it hurts us that it will fade away; and the more we are hurt by beauty, the more we love the world; and the more we love it, the more we are saddened that it is like finely powdered salt that runs away through the fingers, or is puffed away by the wind, or is washed away by the rain. ~Louis de Bernières, Birds Without Wings


Though we live amid promiscuous pressures, spiritual clutter and forgetfulness, we probably still value the integrity of life. ~Baker Brownell, The College and the Community, 1952


Life has left its prints all over me. ~Terri Guillemets, "Thirty seven sins," 2010


Every creatures stalks some other, and catches it, and is caught. ~Mignon McLaughlin, The Neurotic's Notebook, 1960


Life is like a fancy restaurant — it will always try to seat you at the worst table you will accept. ~Robert Brault, rbrault.blogspot.com


A great part of life consists in contemplating what we cannot cure... ~Robert Louis Stevenson, The Master of Ballantrae, 1907


Life. vitality; animation; vital spark, flame; respiration; breath of life, lifeblood; existence; vital air, be alive; live, breathe, respire; subsist &c. (exist); walk the earth, "strut and fret one's hour upon the stage" [Macbeth]; see the light, be born; fetch, draw, breath; quicken; vivify, reanimate, restore; body & soul together, the wolf from the door; support life; have nine lives; living, alive, in life, in the flesh, the land of the living; on this side of the grave, above ground, breathing, quick, animated; animative; lively &c. (active); all alive and kicking; tenacious of life; vital, viable, zoëtic; Promethean; vivendi causâ. Non est vivere sed valere vita; life is not merely being alive but being well [Martial]. ~Extracted from Roget's Thesaurus of English Words and Phrases Classified and Arranged So As To Facilitate the Expression of Ideas and Assist in Literary Composition edited by C.O. Sylvester Mawson, 1911


I have come one step away from everything. And here I stay, far from everything, one step away. ~Antonio Porchia, Voces, 1943, translated from Spanish by W.S. Merwin


      Life came past my door and I did not know how to greet it. I came clumsily, all too eager, like a starved bird in the snow. I wanted to come gently. I wanted to touch it lightly, like one touches the breast of a dove.
      It is one's hungry soul that commits absurdities. It comes always stretching its yellow beak like a starved fledgling. ~Muriel Strode (1875–1964), "A Soul's Faring: XXXVI," A Soul's Faring, 1921


The promise of heaven is no solace to him who hungers for life. ~Muriel Strode (1875–1964), My Little Book of Life, 1912


Life is one big judgment call — and a neverending series of little ones. ~Terri Guillemets


Lucy:  Life is a mystery, Charlie Brown… Do you know the answer?
Charlie Brown:  Be kind, don't smoke, be prompt, smile a lot, eat sensibly, avoid cavities and mark your ballot carefully… avoid too much sun, send overseas packages early, love all creatures above and below, insure your belongings and try to keep the ball low…
~Charles M. Schulz, Peanuts, 1969


Life is abundance, as in nature when all conditions are right the tree bears fruit. ~Mike Dolan, @HawaiianLife, tweet, 2015


Lifeless with a heartbeat. ~Daniel, @blindedpoet


I ask of life to shine meaning in everyone who is searching. ~Aurora Hernandez, January 2012 entry to The Quote Garden create your own quote contest on Twitter


I ask of life… but it doesn't always give me what I ask for, so I've stopped asking and started enjoying. ~Annelize Botha, January 2012 entry to The Quote Garden create your own quote contest on Twitter


I ask of life, simply that, Life. ~Joselyn Holguin, January 2012 winner of The Quote Garden create your own quote contest on Twitter


The world was a shock, but it was not merely shocking; existence was a surprise, but it was a pleasant surprise. ~Gilbert K. Chesterton, "The Ethics of Elfland," Orthodoxy, 1908


Life is just a series of trying to make up your mind. ~Timothy Fuller, Reunion with Murder, 1941


The Song of Love, the Song of Hate,
      the Songs of Praise and of Thanksgiving;
I've learned them all, but there remains
      one called the Melody of Living.
~Frederic Ridgely Torrence, The House of a Hundred Lights: A Psalm of Experience After Reading a Couplet of Bidpai, 1899


Perhaps we are looking at this from a wrong perspective; this search for the truth, the meaning of life, the reason of God. We all have this mindset that the answers are so complex and so vast that it is almost impossible to comprehend. I think, on the contrary, that the answers are so simple; so simple that it is staring us straight in the face, screaming its lungs out, and yet we fail to notice it. We're looking through a telescope, searching the stars for the answer, when the answer is actually a speck of dirt on the telescope lens. ~Jason Q., from generationterrorists.com


Red life boils in my veins.... Every woman is to me the gift of a world.... I hear a thousand nightingales.... I could eat all the elephants of Hindostan and pick my teeth with the spire of Strasburg Cathedral.... Life is the greatest of blessings, and death the worst of evils... ~Excerpts from Heinrich Heine's Ideen: Das Buch Le Grand, 1826, translated from German and artfully compiled in Israel Zangwill's Dreamers of the Ghetto, "From a Mattress Grave," 1897


I live! Red life boils in my veins, earth yields beneath my feet, in the glow of love I embrace trees and statues, and they live in my embrace. Every woman is to me the gift of a world. I revel in the melody of her countenance, and with a single glance of my eye I can enjoy more than others with their every limb through all their lives. ~Heinrich Heine (d.1856), "Ideas: Book Le Grand," 1826, translated from German by Charles Godfrey Leland, Pictures of Travel, 1855


Life is a surprise party. ~Terri Guillemets, "Ribbons & shock," 1988


Wars and elections are both too big and too small to matter in the long run. The daily work — that goes on, it adds up. ~Barbara Kingsolver, Animal Dreams


You cannot discover the purpose of life by asking someone else — the only way you'll ever get the right answer is by asking yourself. ~Terri Guillemets


Why does a person even get up in the morning? You have breakfast, you floss your teeth so you'll have healthy gums in your old age, and then you get in your car and drive down I-10 and die. Life is so stupid I can't stand it. ~Barbara Kingsolver, Animal Dreams


After a lifetime of deep thought, I've decided that life is a distraction, but probably not from anything important. ~Robert Brault, rbrault.blogspot.com


Life is the greatest of blessings and death the worst of evils.... all great, powerful souls love life. ~Heinrich Heine (d.1856), "Ideas: Book Le Grand," 1826, translated from German by Charles Godfrey Leland, Pictures of Travel, 1855


Life is an endless struggle full of frustrations and challenges, but eventually you find a hair stylist you like. ~Author unknown


Why do critics make such an outcry against tragicomedies? is not life one? ~Augustus William Hare and Julius Charles Hare, Guesses at Truth, by Two Brothers, 1827


Life is a mystery.... Where is the goal of this fitful and fretful and feverish existence? Man knoweth not. The untutored savage, and the most highly cultivated intellect of all the ages stand equally mute in the presence of this ever-inviting, this ever-recurring question, What is life? Plato has reasoned, Darwin has investigated, Tyndall has experimented; yet the answer that comes back to our inquiry is but the faintest reverberation of the echo, What is life? ~William H. Crogman (1841–1931), baccalaureate address delivered at Clark University, 1895 May 19th


Life never tires of testing the proposition that life must go on. ~Robert Brault, rbrault.blogspot.com


..."Sloppy, raggedy-assed
old life. I love it. I never
want to die."
~Dennis Trudell, "View," in The Fiddlehead, January 1969


Life is more
than just a question
so just keep living—
answers and fresh questionings
will come in turns like waves.
~Terri Guillemets


Life is a series of ever-changing color, and each day has its hue of romance. ~James Lendall Basford (1845–1915), Seven Seventy Seven Sensations, 1897


Life is a wind tunnel. ~Terri Guillemets, "Leaning," 2001


Ah! my dear Count, life is much too important a thing ever to talk seriously about it. ~Oscar Wilde


The meaning of life is not an unquestionable answer; it is an unanswerable question. ~Terri Guillemets


Life is a series of family photos in which you keep moving to the rear until finally you're a portrait in the background. ~Robert Brault, rbrault.blogspot.com


The blanket of life is kind and warm for those who can find its snuggle. ~Terri Guillemets


Ever get the feeling that sometime early in life there was a briefing you missed? ~Robert Brault, rbrault.blogspot.com


Life is just a way to distract us from life until we die. ~Terri Guillemets, "The business of busy," 2009



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