Over the summer I got back in the habit of keeping a reader’s journal to chronicle my journey through my summer reading list. I wrote down words I didn’t know, thoughts, criticism, and favorite quotes. I am happy to report that I filled one journal and am now well begun on another for fall. I am a happy disciplined nerd. Below I am copying out my favorite quotes from my summer reading list and my fall reading so far. Some of them have appeared in previous entries but most of them are making their debut. Hopefully they inspire you and help you find your way to their pages. Enjoy!
“But I found some other lines that inspire me—[Keats] I have written them on the index-page of my new Jimmy-book. ‘He ne’er is crowned with immortality who fears to follow where airy voices lead.’ Oh it’s true. We must follow our ‘airy voices,’ follow them through every discouragement and doubt and disbelief till they lead us to our City of Fulfillment, whenever it may be.” —Emily’s diary in Emily Climbs by L.M. Montgomery
“They blended religion and art and science because, at base, science is no more than an investigation of a miracle we can never explain, and art is an interpretation of that miracle.” –From “And the moon be still as bright,” in The Martian Chronicles by Ray Bradbury
“The Lord is not serious. In fact, it is a little hard to know just what else He is except loving. And love has to do with humor, doesn’t it? For you cannot love someone unless you put up with him, can you? And you cannot put up with someone constantly unless you can laugh at him. Isn’t that true? And certainly we are ridiculous little animals wallowing in the fudge bowl, and God must love us all the more because we appeal to his humor.” —From “The Fire Balloons,” in The Martian Chronicles by Ray Bradbury
“But what is a shape? Only a cup for the blazing soul that God provides us all.”—From “The Fire Balloons,” in The Martian Chronicles by Ray Bradbury
“Because the Muse persists. It goes on living, though neglected, waiting for you to give it air or die without giving it utterance. My job was to convince myself that the myth was more than ghost, an intuitive substance to be aroused to speak in tongues and move out the ends of my fingers.” –Ray Bradbury on writing The Martian Chronicles taken from his intro, “Green Town, Somewhere on Mars; Mars, Somewhere in Egypt,” written for the William Morrow edition in 2006. William Morrow is an imprint of Harper Collins.
“All along the way, ordinary things became unordinary. The day was full of signs and wonders.” –From Criss Cross by Lynne Rae Perkins
“So often in real life, one person wants to be understood, but obscures her feelings with completely unrelated words and facial expressions, while the other person is trying to remember whether she did or didn’t turn off the burner under the hard-boiled eggs.” –From Criss Cross by Lynne Rae Perkins
“The limit of man’s knowledge in any subject possesses a high interest, which is perhaps increased by its close neighborhood to the realms of imagination.” –Charles Darwin from The Voyage of the Beagle
“The roar which the Maypu [a river in South America] made, as it rushed over the great rounded fragments, was like that of the sea. Amidst the din of rushing waters, the noise from the stones, as they rattled one over another, was most distinctly audible even from a distance. This rattling noise, night and day, may be heard along the whole course of the torrent. The sound spoke eloquently to the geologist; the thousands and thousands of stones, which striking against each other, made the one dull uniform sound, were all hurrying in one direction. It was like thinking on time, where the minute that now glides past is irrevocable. So was it with these stones; the ocean is their eternity, and each note of that wild music told of one more step towards their destiny.”—Charles Darwin, Chapter 15, The Voyage of the Beagle
“When we reached the crest and looked backwards, a glorious view was presented. The atmosphere resplendently clear; the sky an intense blue; the profound valleys; the wild broken forms; the heaps of ruins, piled up during the lapse of ages; the bright-coloured rocks, contrasted with the quiet mountains of snow; all these together produced a scene no one could have imagined. Neither plant nor bird, excepting a few condors wheeling around the higher pinnacles, distracted my attention from the inanimate mass. I felt glad that I was alone: it was like watching a thunderstorm, or hearing in full orchestra a chorus of the Messiah [by Handel].”—Charles Darwin, Chapter 15, The Voyage of the Beagle
“There is a curtain, thin as gossamer, clear as glass, strong as iron, that hangs for ever between the world of magic and the world that seems to us to be real. And when once people have found one of the little weak spots in that curtain which are marked by magic rings, and amulets, and the like, almost anything may happen.” –Edith Nesbit in The Enchanted Castle
“Personally, I have found that the best way to deal with a dangerous situation is to face it, and to make it happen, and to go through with it, rather than to keep it hanging over one’s head.” –The Professor, in Mistress Masham’s Repose by T.H. White
Finally, this is not a quote but a poem my mom found for me years and years ago and then proceeded to turn into a score of fabulous book marks which I frequently use. The copy she found was written by Anonymous but on the internet I have found the same poem credited to a Jill Walsh. Whoever wrote it, the poem is a personal favorite of mine that has never failed to inspire me in endeavors both academic and creative. I hope it inspires you too.
Don’t quit when the tide is lowest,
For it’s just about to turn;
Don’t Quit over doubts and questions,
For there’s something you may learn.
Don’t quit when the night is darkest,
For it’s just a while ’til dawn;
Don’t quit when you’ve run the farthest,
For the race is almost won.
Don’t quit when the hill is steepest,
For your goal is almost nigh;
Don’t quit, for you’re not a failure
Until you fail to try.