One cannot collect all the beautiful shells on the beach. One can collect only a few, and they are more beautiful if they are few.
I feel we are all islands – in a common sea.
Good communication is just as stimulating as black coffee, and just as hard to sleep after.
The sea does not reward those who are too anxious, too greedy, or too impatient. One should lie empty, open, choiceless as a beach – waiting for a gift from the sea.
The loneliness you get by the sea is personal and alive. It doesn’t subdue you and make you feel abject. It’s stimulating loneliness.
To give without any reward, or any notice, has a special quality of its own.
What a circus act we women perform every day of our lives. Look at us. We run a tightrope daily, balancing a pile of books on the head. Baby-carriage, parasol, kitchen chair, still under control. Steady now! This is not the life of simplicity but the life of multiplicity that the wise men warn us of.
I have been overcome by the beauty and richness of our life together, those early mornings setting out, those evenings gleaming with rivers and lakes below us, still holding the last light.
Arranging a bowl of flowers in the morning can give a sense of quiet in a crowded day – like writing a poem or saying a prayer.
Men kick friendship around like a football, but it doesn’t seem to crack. Women treat it like glass and it goes to pieces.
The only real security is not in owning or possessing, not in demanding or expecting, not in hoping, even. Security in a relationship lies neither in looking back to what it was, nor forward to what it might be, but living in the present and accepting it as it is now.
For happiness one needs security, but joy can spring like a flower even from the cliffs of despair.
One can never pay in gratitude; one can only pay ‘in kind’ somewhere else in life.
The most exhausting thing in life is being insincere.
Those fields of daisies we landed on, and dusty fields and desert stretches. Memories of many skies and earths beneath us – many days, many nights of stars.
The punctuation of anniversaries is terrible, like the closing of doors, one after another between you and what you want to hold on to.
I must write it all out, at any cost. Writing is thinking. It is more than living, for it is being conscious of living.
Don’t wish me happiness – I don’t expect to be happy it’s gotten beyond that, somehow. Wish me courage and strength and a sense of humor – I will need them all.
Only in growth, reform, and change, paradoxically enough, is true security to be found.
If you surrender completely to the moments as they pass, you live more richly those moments.
It takes as much courage to have tried and failed as it does to have tried and succeeded.
I do not believe that sheer suffering teaches. If suffering alone taught, all the world would be wise, since everyone suffers. To suffering must be added mourning, understanding, patience, love, openness and the willingness to remain vulnerable.
Life is a gift, given in trust – like a child.
For sleep, one needs endless depths of blackness to sink into; daylight is too shallow, it will not cover one.
I believe that what woman resents is not so much giving herself in pieces as giving herself purposelessly.
After all, I don’t see why I am always asking for private, individual, selfish miracles when every year there are miracles like white dogwood.
There are no signposts in the sky to show a man has passed that way before. There are no channels marked. The flier breaks each second into new uncharted seas.
By and large, mothers and housewives are the only workers who do not have regular time off. They are the great vacationless class.
America, which has the most glorious present still existing in the world today, hardly stops to enjoy it, in her insatiable appetite for the future.
The wave of the future is coming and there is no fighting it.
Grief can’t be shared. Everyone carries it alone. His own burden in his own way.
When the wedding march sounds the resolute approach, the clock no longer ticks, it tolls the hour. The figures in the aisle are no longer individuals, they symbolize the human race.
To be deeply in love is, of course, a great liberating force.
How one hates to think of oneself as alone. How one avoids it. It seems to imply rejection or unpopularity.
Perhaps this is the most important thing for me to take back from beach-living: simply the memory that each cycle of the tide is valid; each cycle of the wave is valid; each cycle of a relationship is valid.
The bearing, rearing, feeding and educating of children; the running of a house with its thousand details; human relationships with their myriad pulls – women’s normal occupations in general run counter to creative life, or contemplative life, or saintly life.
Certain springs are tapped only when we are alone. Women need solitude in order to find again the true essence of themselves; that firm strand which will be the indispensable center of a whole web of human relationships.
It is only in solitude that I ever find my own core.
Travelers are always discoverers, especially those who travel by air. There are no signposts in the sky to show a man has passed that way before. There are no channels marked. The flier breaks each second into new uncharted seas.
How hard it is to have the beautiful interdependence of marriage and yet be strong in oneself alone.