Step 16 – Take another break from all the steps

Maybe this week you’d like to look at some of our favourite quotations from favoured books and movies:

Marilee’s Favourites:

“She loved the big proud bodies of the women in the choir, and how they could swing, and how planted on the earth they seemed, and with no apology for taking up so much space. It was as if they assumed they were beautiful, and only needed to decide what color to dress their beauty in. (Anne Lamott, Blue Shoes).

“My heart trusted in him, and I am helped” (Psalm 28:7).

“One of the strange things about living in the world is that it is only now and then one is quite sure one is going to live forever and ever and ever. One knows it sometimes when one gets up at the tender solemn dawn-time and goes out and stands alone and throws one’s head back and looks up and up and watches the pale sky slowly changing and flushing and marvellous unknown things happening until the East almost makes one cry out and one’s heart stands still at the strange unchanging majesty of the rising of the sun — which has been happening every morning for thousands and thousands and thousands of years. One knows it then for a moment or so. And one knows it sometimes when one stands by oneself in a wood at sunset and the mysterious deep gold stillness slanting through and under the branches seems to be saying slowly again and again something one cannot quite hear, however much one tries. Then sometimes the immense quiet of the dark blue at night with millions of stars waiting and watching makes one sure; and sometimes a sound of far-off music makes it true; and sometimes a look in some one’s eye”. (Ben Weatherstaff from Frances Hodgson Burnett’s The Secret Garden).

“It was such a miserable hovel that it could not make up its mind which way even to fall, and so it remained standing”. (Hans Christian Anderson, The Ugly Duckling).

“Someone must have taken it,” Said Eeyore. “How like them,” he added, after a long silence. (A.A Milne’s Winnie the Pooh,  on Eeyore missing his tail).

How do I love thee? Let me count the ways.
I love thee to the depth and breadth and height
My soul can reach, when feeling out of sight
For the ends of Being and ideal Grace.
I love thee to the level of everyday’s
Most quiet need, by sun and candle-light.
I love thee freely, as men strive for Right;
I love thee purely, as they turn from Praise.
I love thee with a passion put to use
In my old griefs, and with my childhood’s faith.
I love thee with a love I seemed to lose
With my lost saints, — I love thee with the breath,
Smiles, tears, of all my life! — and, if God choose,
I shall but love thee better after death.

Elizabeth Barrett Browning

[Sidebar: This is the poem Dan recited from memory when he proposed to me].

“Closing Sohrab’s door, I wondered if that was how forgiveness budded, not with the fanfare of epiphany, but with pain gathering its things, packing up, and slipping away unannounced in the middle of the night” (The Kite Runner, Khaled Hosseini).

“Sohrab’s silence wasn’t the self-imposed silence of those with convictions, of protesters who seek to speak their cause by not speaking at all. It was the silence of one who has taken cover in a dark place, curled up all the edges and tucked them under.” (The Kite Runner, Khaled Hosseini).


A puppy dog without a collar
Annexed me on my evening walk;
His coat suggested fleas and squalor,
His tail had never known a dock.
So humble, trusting, wistful was he,
I gave his head a cautious pat,
Then I regretted it because he
Accompanied me to my door-mat.
And there with morning milk I found him,
Where he’d slumbered all the night;
I could not with displeasure hound him,
So wonderful was his delight.
And so with him I shared my porridge-
Oh! How voraciously he ate!
And then I had the woeful courage
To thrust him through the garden gate.
But there all morning long he waited;
I had to sneak out by the back.
To hurt his feelings how I hated,
Yet somehow he got on my track.
For down the road he sudden saw me
and though in trees I tried to hide,
How pantingly he sought to paw me,
And yelped with rapture by my side.
Poor dirty dog! I should have coshed him,
But after all twas not his fault;
And so I took him home and washed him,
-I’m that soft-hearted kind of dolt.
But then he looked so sadly thinner,
Though speckless clean and airy bright,
I had to buck him up with dinner
And keep him for another night.
And now he is a household fixture
And never wants t leave my side;
A doggy dog, a mongrel mixture,
I couldn’t lose him if I tried.
His tail undocked is one wild wiggle,
His heaven is my happy nod;
His life is one ecstatic wiggle,
And I’m his God.

Robert Service

We have to repent . . . not merely for the vitriolic words and actions of the bad people but for the appalling silence of the good people. (Martin Luther King Jr.).

“We shall fight for the things which we have always carried nearest our hearts–for democracy, for the right of those who submit to authority to have a voice in their own governments.”  (Woodrow Wilson, speaking to Congress on April 2, 1917).

Here bring your wounded hearts, here tell your anguish; Earth has no sorrow that Heaven cannot heal. (St. Thomas More).

Great spirits have often encountered violent opposition from weak minds.” (Albert Einstein).

A Blessing

Just off the Highway to Rochester, Minnesota
Twilight bounds softly forth on the grass.
And the eyes of those two Indian ponies
Darken with kindness.
They have come gladly out of the willows
To welcome my friend and me.
We step over the barbed wire into the pasture
Where they have been grazing all day, alone.
They ripple tensely, they can hardly contain their happiness
That we have come.
They bow shyly as wet swans. They love each other.
There is no loneliness like theirs.
At home once more,
They begin munching the young tufts of spring in the darkness.
I would like to hold the slenderer one in my arms,
For she has walked over to me
And nuzzled my left hand.
She is black and white,
Her mane falls wild on her forehead,
And the light breeze moves me to caress her long ear
That is delicate as the skin over a girl’s wrist.
Suddenly I realize
That if I stepped out of my body I would break
Into blossom.

James Wright

…she imagined herself as some sort of vessel to be filled up with love. But it wasn’t like that. The love was within her all the time, and its only renewal cam from giving it away. (Kim Edwards, The Memory Keeper’s Daughter).

The truly powerful ideas are precisely the ones that never have to justify themselves. (Dallas Willard, Divine Conspiracy).

Absurdity reigns, and confusion makes it look good. (Dallas Willard, Divine Conspiracy).

[instead of random acts of kindness, practice ] “routinely purposeful kindnesses and intelligent acts of beauty” (Dallas Willard, Divine Conspiracy).

Just then she looked up at the cliffs above her head and started with surprise and delight. In a tiny crevice of the rock, where a few drops from the trickling waterfall could occasionally sprinkle it,w was a single plant. It had just tow or three leaves and one fragile stem, almost hair-like in its slenderness, grew out at right angles to the wall. On the stem was one flower, blood red in colour which glowed like a lamp or flame of fie in the early rays of sun. Much afraid started at it for some moments, noticing the wall which completely imprisoned it, the minute aperture, through which it had forced gives way to the light , and the barren loneliness of its surroundings. Its roots were clamped around by sheer rock, its leaves scarcely able to press outside the prison house, yet it had insisted on bursting into bloom and was holding its little face open to the sun and burning like a flame of joy. (Hannah Hurnard, Hinds Feet on High Places).

It is not our abilities that show what we truly are. It is our choices. (Albus Dumbledore speaking to Harry Potter, J.K Rowling’s Chamber of Secrets).

…taught me that you could be all the traditional feminine things – a mother, a lover, a listener, a nurturer- and you could also be critically astute and radical and have a minority opinion that was profoundly moral. You could escape the fate of your mother, become who you were born to be, and succeed in the world without having to participate in traditional male terms – without hardness, coldness, one-upmanship, without having to compete and come out the winner. (Anne Lammott, Travelling Mercies).

But love not too well the work of thy hands and the devices of they heart; and remember that the try hope of the Noldor lieth in the West and cometh from the sea. (J.R.R. Tolkien, The Simarillion).

“Ram Dass, who describes himself as a Hin-Jew, said that ultimately we’re all just walking each other home. I love that. I try to live by it. (Anne Lammott, Stitches).

If I see the word “God”, I sure don’t mean an old man in the sky who loves the occasional goat sacrifice. I mean “God” as Jane Keyton described God: “I am food on the prisoner’s plate…/the patient gardener/of the dry and weedy garden…/the stone step/the latch, and the working hinge.” I mean “God” as shorthand for the Good, for the animating energy of love; for Life, for the light that radiates from within people and from above; in the energies of nature, even in our rough, messy selves. (Anne Lammott, Stitches).

It would be great if we could shop, sleep or date our way out of this. Sometimes we think we can, but it feels that way only for a while. To hale, it seems we have to stand in the middle of the horror, at the foot of the cross, and wait out another’s suffering where that person can see us. (Anne Lammott, Stitches).

Whether I’m wrong or not, though, most of us have figured out that we have to do what’s in front of us and keep doing it. We clean up beaches after oil spills. We rebuild whole towns after hurricanes and tornados. We return calls and library books. We get people water. Some of us even pray. Every time we choose the good action or response, the decent, the valuable, it builds, incrementally to renewal, resurrection, the place of newness, freedom and justice. The equation is life, death, resurrection, hope. The horror is real, and so you make casseroles for your neighbour, organize an overseas clothing drive and do your laundry. You can also offer to do other people’s laundry if they have recently had any random babies or surgeries. (Anne Lammott, Stitches).

[Sidenote: I really liked Anne Lammott’s book: Stitches].

Doktor Eklund was unhappy with the way the Prime Minister had interfered with his recruiting process. And Allan, for his pain, felt the negative vibe in the room and for a moment was reminded of the first time he met Soong Mei-Ling. People could do what they wanted but Allan considered that in general, it was quite unnecessary to be grumpy if you had the chance not to. (Jonas Jonasson, The 100-Year-Old Man Who Climbed Out the Window and Disappeared).

“Let me give you some counsil bastard.” Tyrion said. “Never forget what you are, for surely the world will not. Make it your strength. Then it can never be your weakness. Armor yourself in it, and it will never be used to hurt you.” (Tyrion Lannister in George R.R. Martin’s The Game of Thrones).

They all attended Hester’s church, which Dellarobia viewed as a complicated pyramid scheme of moral debt and credit resting ultimately on the shoulders of the Lord, but rife with middle managers.” (Barbara Kingsolver, Flight Behaviour).

The better part of friendship might be holding one’s tongue over the prospect of self-make wreckage. (Barbara Kingsolver, Flight Behaviour).

Nobody truly decided for themselves. There was too much information. What they actually did was scope around, decide who was looking out for their clan, and sign on for the memos on a wide array of topics.” (Barbara Kingsolver, Flight Behaviour).

And even while he warned her of these caveats, Dellarobia felt a settling down of her lifelong plague of impatience. He did not claim that God moves in mysterious ways. Instead he seemed to believe, as she did, though they never could have discussed it, that everything else is in motion while God does not move at all. God sits still, perfectly at rest, the silver dollar at the bottom of the well, the question. (Barbara Kingsolver, Flight Behaviour).

[Sidenote: I obviously also really liked Flight Behaviour].

Say I’m working at N.S.A. Somebody puts a code on my desk, something nobody else can break. So I take a shot at it and maybe I break it. And I’m real happy with myself, ’cause I did my job well. But maybe that code was the location of some rebel army in North Africa or the Middle East. Once they have that location, they bomb the village where the rebels were hiding and fifteen hundred people I never had a problem with get killed. Now the politicians are sayin’, Send in the marines to secure the area ’cause they don’t give a shit. It won’t be their kid over there, gettin’ shot. Just like it wasn’t them when their number was called, ’cause they were pullin’ a tour in the National Guard. It’ll be some guy from Southie takin’ shrapnel in the ass. And he comes home to find that the plant he used to work at got exported to the country he just got back from. And the guy who put the shrapnel in his ass got his old job, ’cause he’ll work for fifteen cents a day and no bathroom breaks. Meanwhile my buddy from Southie realizes the only reason he was over there was so we could install a government that would sell us oil at a good price. And of course the oil companies used the skirmish to scare up oil prices so they could turn a quick buck. A cute little ancillary benefit for them but it ain’t helping my buddy at two-fifty a gallon. And naturally they’re takin’ their sweet time bringin’ the oil back, and maybe even took the liberty of hiring an alcoholic skipper who likes to drink martinis and play slalom with the icebergs, and it ain’t too long ’til he hits one, spills the oil and kills all the sea life in the North Atlantic. So my buddy’s out of work and he can’t afford to drive, so he’s got to walk to the job interviews, which sucks ’cause the shrapnel in his ass is givin’ him chronic hemorroids. And meanwhile he’s starvin’ ’cause every time he tries to get a bite to eat the only blue plate special they’re servin’ is North Atlantic scrod with Quaker State. So what do I think? I’m holdin’ out for somethin’ better. Why not just shoot my buddy, take his job and give it to his sworn enemy, hike up gas prices, bomb a village, club a baby seal, hit the hash pipe and join the National Guard? I could be elected president. (Matt Damon as Will Hunting in Good Will Hunting)

“The more civilized we become, the more horrendous our entertainments,” said Frex. (Gregory McGuire, Wicked).

He had learned that it was the smallness of people that filled him with wonder and tenderness, and the loneliness of that too. The world was made up of people putting one foot in front of the other and a life might appear ordinary simply because the person living it had done so for a long time. Harold could no longer pass a stranger without acknowledging the truth that everyone was the same, and also unique and that this was the dilemma of being human. (Rachel Joyce, The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry).

We’ve all got a monster inside of us Clark. And we’re all responsible for what it does when we let it out. (Lincoln in The 100).

““Best friend” isn’t a person Danny, its a tier” (Mindy Lahiri in The Mindy Project).

Dan’s Favourites: 

Call this an unfair generalization if you must, but old people are no good at everything. (Moe, The Simpsons).

Aeronautics was neither an industry nor a science. It was a miracle. (Igor Sikorsky – Inventor of the helicopter).

Caution: Cape does not enable user to fly. (Batman costume warning label, Wal-Mart, 1995)

Eighty percent of success is showing up. (Woody Allen)

Still achieving, still pursuing, Learn to labor and to wait. (Henry Wadsworth Longfellow)

All my possessions for a moment in time. (Last words of Queen Elizabeth).

Let us have faith that right makes might; and in that faith let us to the end dare to do our duty as we understand. (Abraham Lincoln)

Opportunity is missed by most people because it is dressed in overalls and looks like work. (Thomas Edison)

You cannot make your decisions based on criticisms. You have to do what you think is right. (Rosalind Carter)

A jury consists of twelve people who determine which client has the better lawyer. (Robert Frost)

Forgive your enemies, but never forget their names. (John F. Kennedy)

The old law about “an eye for an eye” leaves everybody blind. (Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.)

I’m sorry Mr. President. I don’t dance. (Jack Ryan – Clear & Present Danger)

You gave control of America’s nuclear weapons to a foreign country? If you can call Canada foreign. Or a country. (Canadian Bacon)

Behind the rabbit? It is the rabbit. (Tim the Enchanter)

Fear leads to anger. Anger leads to hate. Hate leads to suffering. I sense much fear in you. (Yoda)

I’ve been doing pushups since I was a fetus. (Jerry Seinfeld)

I see you’ve played knifey-spoony before. (Simpsons episode about Australia)

Sensible and responsible women do not want to vote. (Grover Cleveland, former two-term Democratic US president) [Dan likes this ironically I think].

It’s not normal for a woman to read! Soon she starts getting *ideas*, and *thinking*… (Gaston – Beauty & the Beast). [Also ironically].

I like strong magnets. (Peter Eddy)

Mr. Skinner, I got carsick in your office. (Ralph Wiggum)

When once you have tasted flight, you will forever walk the earth with your eyes turned skyward, for there you have been, and there you will always long to return. (Leonardo da Vinci)

Tristan is wearing his helmet because he is fresh off of his lobotomy. (Jason Parker)

Kids, you tried your best and you failed miserably. The lesson is, never try. (Homer Simpson).

Within all of us is a varying amount of space lint and star dust, the residue from our creation. Most are too busy to notice it, and it is stronger in some than others. It is strongest in those of us who fly and is responsible for an unconscious, subtle desire to slip into some wings and try for the elusive boundaries of our origin. (K O Eckland, ‘Footprints On Clouds’)

Miss Flamiel: Yakko, can you conjugate?

Yakko: Who? Me? I’ve never even kissed a girl!

Miss Flamiel: No, it’s very simple. I’ll conjugate with you.

Yakko: Good night, everybody!

3 thoughts on “Step 16 – Take another break from all the steps”

  1. I love the feeling of the picture accompanying this post! The color theme, the arrangement and the objects! Pure perfection!

    1. Thanks Mehreen!! It really worked out perfectly didn’t it 🙂 Did you recognize your card? And book?

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