Category: Quotations

Paradox is the intellectual life’s authentic pathos, and just as only great souls are prone to passions, so only great thinkers are prone to what I call paradoxes, which are nothing but grand thoughts still wanting completion.

Søren Kierkegaard

Pain happens when you care.

Lisa Cuddy from House

Well, given that he’s desperately in love with you, he probably wouldn’t mind getting a cup of coffee or something.

Joey from Friends

I’m just a soul whose intentions are good. Oh, (my dear) Lord, please don’t let me be misunderstood.


The Animals

There’s nothing that makes you more miserable, or less interesting, than self-absorption.

Timothy Keller

You cannot find peace by avoiding life.

Virginia Woolf

I am a nostalgic, melancholic type, and I haven’t lost that. I don’t get used to the people I love going away.

Carla Bruni (in an interview)

And this more human love (that will fulfill itself, infinitely considerate and gentle, and good and clear in binding and releasing) will resemble that which we are with struggle and endeavor preparing, the love that consists in this, that two solitudes protect and touch and greet each other.

Rainer Maria Rilke

“Of all the things my eyes have seen, the best by far is you.”

The unfed mind devours itself.

Gore Vidal

Here is the best true story on giving I know, and it was told by Jack Kornfield of the Spirit Rock Meditation Center in Woodacre. An eight-year-old boy had a younger sister who was dying of leukemia, and he was told that without a blood transfusion she would die. His parents explained to him that his blood was probably compatible with hers, and if so, he could be the blood donor. They asked him if they could test his blood. He said sure. So they did and it was a good match. Then they asked if he would give his sister a pint of blood, that it could be her only chance of living. He said he would have to think about it overnight.

The next day he went to his parents and said he was willing to donate the blood. So they took him to the hospital where he was put on a gurney beside his six-year-old sister. Both of them were hooked up to IVs. A nurse withdrew a pint of blood from the boy, which was then put in the girl’s IV. The boy lay on his gurney in silence while the blood dripped into his sister, until the doctor came over to see how he was doing. Then the boy opened his eyes and asked, “How soon until I start to die?”

Sometimes you have to be that innocent to be a writer. Writing takes a combination of sophistication and innocence; it takes conscience, our belief that something is beautiful because it’s right….

The above passage is an excerpt from Anne Lamott’s book Bird by Bird.