The important thing in this world is not so much where we stand,
but in what direction we are moving.
-- Oliver Wendell Holmes

But I look up high to see only the light,
And never look down to see my shadow.
This is wisdom which man must learn.
-- from Song of the Flower by Kahlil Gibran

It is something that gathers strength with patience,
grows despite obstacles, warms in winter, flourishes in spring,
casts a breeze in summer, and bears fruit in autumn --
I found Love.
-- from Laughter and Tears by Kahlil Gibran

I should like to spend the whole of my life in traveling abroad,
if I could anywhere borrow another life to spend afterwards at home.
-- Hazlitt, Table-Talk: On Going a Journey

A man who leaves home to mend himself and others is a philosopher;
but he who goes from country to country, guided by the blind impulse
of curiosity, is only a vagabond.
-- Goldsmith, The Citizen of the World

Everything in life is good; even gold, for it teaches a lesson.
Money is like a stringed instrument; he who does not know how to
use it properly will hear only discordant music. Money is like love;
it kills slowly and painfully the one who withholds it, and it enlivens
the other who turns it upon his fellow men.
-- from Yesterday and Today by Kahlil Gibran

We sleep, but the loom of life never stops
and the pattern which was weaving when the sun went down
is weaving when it comes up tomorrow.
-- Henry Ward Beecher, Life Thoughts

I met at eve the Prince of Sleep,
His was a still and lovely face,
He wandered through a valley steep.
Lovely in a lonely place.
-- Walter de la Mare, I Met at Eve

A grateful couch was spread for our repose;
Where, in the guise of mountaineers, we lay,
Stretched upon fragrant heath, and lulled by sound
Of far-off torrents charming the still night,
And, to tired limbs and over-busy thoughts,
Inviting sleep and soft forgetfulness.
-- Wordsworth, The Excursion. Book Four: Despondency Corrected, line 1319.

You can lay the foundation of a friendship in a matter of moments,
but it is a work of time to build a monument.
-- Madelyn Watt

Our home is where our friends abide. We are lonely in the crowded
city, if our friends are not there; we are contented in the desert
wild, if our friends are about us.
-- Charles Edward Locke

A friend may be found and lost, but an old friend can never
be found, and nature has provided he cannot be easily lost.
-- Samuel Johnson

My fondest hope is that I may be worthy of a place in your
friendship, and being admitted to that sacred circle, that I
may never prove unfaithful to your trust in me.
-- Edwin Osgood Grover

God evidently does not intend us all to be rich or powerful
or great, but he does intend us all to be friends.
-- Ralph Waldo Emerson

The beauty of a real friendship is that unconsciously the two
friends travel uphill together.
-- Edward Osgood Grover

In making dinner for a friend, don't forget the love.
-- Jeanne Moreau

The ideal of friendship is to feel as one while remaining two.
-- Madame Swetchine

Good company in a journey makes the way to seem the shorter.
-- Izaak Walton

There are only two people who can tell you the truth about
yourself -- an enemy who has lost his temper and a friend
who loves you dearly.
-- Antisthenes

The ultimate test of a relationship is to disagree but to
hold hands.
-- Alexandra Penny

Human kinds cling to earthly things, but I seek ever to embrace
the torch of love so it will purify me by its fire and sear
inhumanity from my heart.
-- from A Poet's Voice by Kahlil Gibran

A real friend is one who helps us to think our best thoughts,
do our noblest deeds, and be our finest selves.
-- Unknown

When friends ask, there is no tomorrow....only now.
-- Alexander Drey

What sweetness is left in life if you take away friendship?
It is like robbing the world of the sun.
-- Cicero

A friend may well be reckoned the masterpiece of nature.
-- Ralph Waldo Emerson

If you have a friend worth loving,
 Love him. Yes, and let him know
That you love him, ere life's evening
 Tinge his brow with sunset glow.
Why should good words ne'er be said
 Of a friend -- till he is dead?
-- Daniel W. Hoyt

Oh, the comfort, the inexpressible comfort of feeling safe
with a person, having neither to weigh thoughts nor measure
words, but pouring them all right out, just as they are,
chaff and grain together; certain that a faithful hand will
take and sift them, keep what is worth keeping, and then
with the breath of kindness blow the rest away.
-- Dinah Craik

... And, when the stream
Which overflowed the soul was passed away,
A consciousness remained that it had left,
Deposited upon the silent shore
Of memory, images and precious thoughts,
That shall not die, and cannot be destroyed.
-- Wordsworth, The Excursion. Book Seven: The Churchyard Among the Mountains, line 25.

When other lips and other hearts
Their tales of love shall tell,
In language whose excess imparts
The power they feel so well,
There may, perhaps, in such a scene,
Some recollection be
Of days that have as happy been,
And you'll remember me.
-- Alfred Bunn, Then You'll Remember Me

All to myself I think of you,
Think of the things we used to do,
Think of the things we used to say,
Think of each happy bygone day.
Sometimes I sigh, and sometimes I smile,
But I keep each olden, golden while
All to myself.
-- Wilbur D. Nesbit, All to Myself

Where is the heart that doth not keep,
Within its inmost core,
Some fond remembrance hidden deep,
Of days that are no more?
-- Ellen Clementine Howarth, 'Tis But a Little Faded Flower

Oh, I have roamed o'er many lands,
And many friends I've met;
Not one fair scene or kindly smile
Can this fond heart forget.
-- T.H. Bayly, Song: Oh, Steer My Bark

The sight of you...is as necessary for me
as is the sun for the spring flowers.
-- Marguerite of Valois

Heaven gives us friends to bless the present scene.
-- Edward Young

The noblest part of a friend is an honest boldness
in the notifying of errors. He that tells me of
a fault, aiming at my good, I must think him
wise and faithful.
-- Owen Felltham

To be trusted is a greater compliment than
to be loved.
-- George Macdonald

My friends are not perfect -- no more than I --
and so we suit each other admirably. It is one
of the charitable dispensations of Providence that
perfection is not essential to friendship.
-- Alexander Smith

Thou may be sure that he who will tell thee
of thy faults is thy friend, for he ventures
thy dislike and doth hazard the hatred.
-- Sir Walter Raleigh

The highest compact we can make with our fellow is:
Let there be truth between us two forevermore.
-- Ralph Waldo Emerson

Oh, what is life without a friend
To dissipate our gloom?
A path where naught but briars grow,
Where flowers never bloom.
'Tis friends who make the desert world
To blossom as the rose;
Strew flowers o're our rugged path,
Pour sunshine o're our woes.
-- Anonymous (Friendship. Comp. by Paul Elder. Paul Elder & Co: San Francisco, 1910.)

The language of friendship is not words, but
meanings. It is an intelligence above language.
-- Henry David Thoreau

Life is a boundless privilege, and when you pay for
your ticket, and get into the car, you have no guess
what good company you will find there.
-- Emerson

Reader, farewell! My last words let them be --
If in this book Fancy and Truth agree;
If simple Nature trained by careful Art
Through It have won a passage to thy heart;
Grant me thy love, I crave no other fee!
-- Wordsworth

Our lives are albums written through
With good or ill, with false or true;
And as the blessed angels turn
The pages of our years,
God grant they read the good with smiles,
And blot the ill with tears!
-- Whittier

Life can only be understood backwards; but it
must be lived forwards.
-- Soren Kierkegaard

As a rule, the game of life is worth playing,
but the struggle is the prize.
-- Dean W. R. Inge

We are in this life as it were in another man's house...
In heaven is our home, in the world is our Inn:
do not so entertain thyself in the Inn of this world
for a day as to have thy mind withdrawn from longing
after thy heavenly home.
-- Paul Gerhardt, Meditations (XXXVIII)

To live content with small means; to seek elegance rather
than luxury, and refinement rather than fashion; to be
worthy, not respectable, and wealthy, not rich; to study
hard, think quietly, talk frankly; to listen to stars
and birds, to babes and sages, with open heart; to bear
all cheerfully, do all bravely, await occasion, hurry never;
in a word, to let the spiritual, unbidden and unconscious
grow up through the common: this is to be my symphony.
-- William Henry Channing

A sacred burden is this life ye bear:
Look on it, lift it, bear it solemnly,
Stand up and walk beneath it steadfastly,
Fail not for sorrow, falter not for sin,
But onward, upward, till the goal ye win.
-- Frances Anne Kemble

And in the wreck of noble lives
Something immortal still survives.
-- Longfellow

Where we live or how we live is of little consequence.
What is all-important is to live.
-- Ernest Dimnet

Learn to make the most of life,
Lose no happy day,
Time will never bring thee back
Chances swept away!
-- Unknown

Leave no tender word unsaid,
Love while love shall last;
"The mill cannot grind
With the water that is past."
-- Sarah Doudney

For this is wisdom: to love, to live,
To take what Fate or the gods may give.
-- Laurence Hope

We are the masters of the days that were:
We have lived, we have loved, we have suffered . . . even so.
-- W.E. Henley

When a man has said, "I have lived,"
every morning he arises he receives a bonus.
-- Seneca

It is not a great thing to have been to Jerusalem,
but to have lived well is a great thing.
-- St. Jerome

The measure of a happy life is not from the fewer or
more suns we behold, the fewer or more breaths we
draw, or meals we repeat, but from the having once
lived well, acted our part handsomely, and made our
exit cheerfully.
-- Lord Shaftesbury

There, like the wind through woods in riot,
Through him the gale of life blew high;
The tree of man was never quiet:
Then 'twas the Roman, now 'tis I.
-- A.E. Housman

As leaves on the trees, such is the life of man.
-- Homer

We are such stuff as dreams are made on,
And our little life is rounded with a sleep.
-- Shakespeare

And step by step, since time began,
I see the steady gain of man.
-- Whittier

At any rate, I might pursue some path, however solitary and
narrow and crooked, in which I could walk with love and reverence.
Wherever a man separates from the multitude, and goes his own way in
this mood, there indeed is a fork in the road, though ordinary
travelers may see only a gap in the paling. His solitary path
across-lots will turn out the higher way of the two.
-- Henry David Thoreau

Could a greater miracle take place than for us to look through
each other's eyes for an instant? We should live in all the ages
of the world in an hour; ay, in all the worlds of the ages.
History, Poetry, Mythology! -- I know of no reading of another's
experience so startling and informing as this would be.
-- Henry David Thoreau

The very simplicity and nakedness of man's life in the primitive
ages imply this advantage, at least, that they left him still but
a sojourner in nature. When he was refreshed with food and sleep,
he contemplated his journey again. He dwelt, as it were, in a
tent in this world, and was either threading the valleys, or
crossing the plains, or climbing the mountain-tops.
-- Henry David Thoreau

Of course it is of no use to direct our steps to the woods,
if they do not carry us thither. I am alarmed when it happens
that I have walked a mile into the woods bodily, without getting
there in spirit.
-- Henry David Thoreau

Man and his affairs, church and state and school, trade and commerce,
and manufactures and agriculture, even politics, the most alarming
of them all, -- I am pleased to see how little space they occupy
in the landscape.
-- Henry David Thoreau

So here it is at last, the distinguished thing.
-- Henry James

Man passes away; his name perishes from record and recollection;
his history is as a tale that is told, and his very monument
becomes a ruin.
-- Washington Irving

I thank God far more for friends than for my daily bread --
for friendship is the bread of the heart.
-- Mary Mitford

The ornaments of our house are the friends that frequent it.
-- Ralph Waldo Emerson

Now may the warming love
of friends
Surround you as you go
Down the path of light and laughter
Where the happy memories grow.
-- Helen Lowrie Marshall

"What is REAL?" asked the rabbit...
"Generally, by the time you are Real, most of your hair has
been loved off, and your eyes drop out and you get loose in
the joints and very shabby. But these things don't matter at all,
because once you are Real you can't be ugly, except to people
who don't understand...but once you are Real you can't become
unreal again. It lasts for always."
-- Margery Williams, The Velveteen Rabbit

Age does not protect you from love. But love, to some extent,
protects you from age.
-- Jeanne Moreau

It is always good to know, if only in passing,
a charming human being; it refreshes our lives
like flowers and woods and clear brooks.
-- George Eliot

So let the way wind up the hill or down,
O'er rough or smooth, the journey will be joy,
Still seeking what I sought when but a boy.
-- Henry Van Dyke

To see where something leads, it's best to wait
until you reach the end.
-- Dan Millman

To attain a true relation to one human being is enough
to make a year memorable.
-- Henry David Thoreau

The most I can do for my friend is simply to be his friend....
If he knows that I am happy in loving him, he will want no
other reward. Is not friendship divine in this?
-- Henry David Thoreau

Some men may be acquaintances merely, but one whom I
have been accustomed to regard, to idealize, to have dreams
about as a friend, and mix up intimately with myself, can
never denigrate into an acquaintance.
-- Henry David Thoreau

I have three chairs in my house:
one for solitude, two for friendship, three for company.
-- Henry David Thoreau

It is good to have an end to journey towards;
but it is the journey that matters, in the end.
-- Ursula K. Le Guin

You will find as you look back upon your life
that the moments when you have really lived
are the moments when you have done things
in the spirit of love.
-- Henry Drummond

The hardest of all is learning to be a well of affection,
and not a fountain,
to show them that we love them, not when we feel like it,
but when they do.
-- Nan Fairbrother

Isn't it splendid to think of all the things there are
to find out about? It just makes me feel glad to be
alive -- it's such an interesting world.
-- Montgomery

The past, like an inspired rhapsodist, fills the theatre
of everlasting generations with her harmony.
-- Shelley

This is the place. Stand still, my steed,
Let me review the scene.
And summon from the shadowy Past
The forms that once have been.
-- Longfellow

Ah, me! what a world this was to live in two or
three centuries ago, when it was getting itself
discovered! . . . Then man was courting Nature,
now he has married her. Every mystery is dissipated.
The planet is familiar as the trodden pathway
running between towns.
-- Alexander Smith

So sad, so strange, the days that are no more.
-- Tennyson

Things bygone are the only things that last:
The present is mere grass, quick-mown away;
The Past is stone, and stands forever fast.
-- Eugene Lee-Hamilton

Look not mournfully into the Past. It comes not
back again. Wisely improve the Present. It is
thine. Go forth to meet the shadowy Future,
without fear, and with a manly heart.
-- Longfellow

The future is only the past again, entered through
another gate.
-- Pinero

Man hath a weary pilgrimage
As through the world he wends,
On every stage, from youth to age,
Still discontent attends:
With heaviness he casts his eye
Upon the road before,
And still remembers with a sigh
The days that are no more.
-- Robert Southey

By harmony our souls are swayed;
By harmony the world was made.
-- George Granville

There is nothing so fragile as civilization,
and no high civilization has long withstood
the manifold risks it is exposed to.
-- Havelock Ellis

Limited in his nature, infinite in his desires,
man is a fallen god who remembers the heavens.
-- Lamartine

And step by step, since time began,
I see the steady gain of man.
-- Whittier

There is a temple in ruin stands,
Fashion'd by long-forgotten hands;
Two or three columns, and many a stone,
Marble and granite, with grass o'ergrown!
Out upon time! it will leave no more
Of the things to come than the things before!
-- Byron

While in the progress of their long decay,
Thrones sink to dust, and nations pass away.
-- Earl of Carlisle

So many great nobles, things, administrations,
So many high chieftains, so many brave nations,
So many proud princes, and power so splendid,
In a moment, a twinkling, all utterly ended.
-- Jacopone

God is the author, men are only the players.
These grand pieces which are played upon earth
have been composed in heaven.
-- Balzac

Glorious indeed is the world of God around us,
but more glorious the world of God within us.
There lies the Land of Song;
there lies the poet's native land.
-- Longfellow

Nor deem the irrevocable Past,
As wholly wasted, wholly vain,
If, rising on its wrecks, at last
To something nobler we attain.
-- Longfellow

The birds have vanished into the sky,
and now the last cloud drains away.
We sit together, the mountain and me,
until only the mountain remains.
-- Li Po

What lies behind us and what lies before us
are tiny matters compared to what lies within us.
-- Oliver Wendell Holmes

Peace is every step.
-- Thich Nhat Hanh

Go out of the house to see the moon,
and 'tis mere tinsel:
it will not please as when its light
shines upon your necessary journey.
-- Emerson

"I believe that imagination is stronger than knowledge,
That myth is more potent than history.
I believe that dreams are more powerful than fact,
That hope always triumphs over experience,
That laughter is the only cure for grief.
I believe that love is stronger than death."
-- Robert Fulgham: Storyteller's Creed

Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed
by the things that you didn't do
than by the ones you did do.
So throw off the bowlines.
Sail away from the safe harbor.
Catch the trade winds in your sails.
Explore. Dream. Discover.
-- Mark Twain

James Joyce: clinesterton beademungen (which turns out to mean "blessed are they who snore in bed", a very Joycean pun).

One by one they were all becoming shades. Better pass boldly into that
other world, in the full glory of some passion, than fade and wither
dismally with age.
-- James Joyce: Dubliners, "The Dead"

"I have met you too late. You're too old for me to help you."
-- A young Joyce to the 37 year-old Yeats

I've put in so many enigmas and puzzles that it will keep the professors
busy for centuries arguing over what I meant, and that's the only way of
insuring one's immortality.
-- James Joyce

I believe that the true joy in life is being used for a purpose recognized
by yourself as a mighty one.
It is being a force of Nature, instead of a feverish, selfish little clod
of ailments and grievances complaining that the world will not devote itself
to making YOU happy.
I am of the opinion that my life belongs to the whole community,
and that as long as I live, it is my privilege to do for it whatever I can.
I want to be thoroughly used up when I die. For the harder I work, the more I live.
I rejoice in life for its own sake.
Life is no brief candle to me. It is a sort of splendid torch
which I've got a hold of for a moment, and I want to make it burn,
as brightly as possible, before handing it on to future generations.
-- George Bernard Shaw

I contend that we are both atheists. I just believe in one fewer
god than you do. When you understand why you dismiss all the
other possible gods, you will understand why I dismiss yours.
-- Stephen Roberts

It is small minds and small thinkers who don't consider anything outside of their neighborhood important. We are all citizens of the world. You'd better come to terms with that concept or get ready to spend your life behind a fast-food counter.
-- Jimmy Buffett

Ultimately, the bond of all companionship, whether in marriage or friendship, is conversation.
-- Oscar Wilde, DE PROFUNDIS

The truth is that enlightenment is neither remote nor unattainable. It is closer than your skin and more immediate than your next breath. If we wonder why so few seem able to find that which can never be lost, we might recall the child who was looking in the light for a coin he dropped in the dark because "the light is better over here." Mankind has spent ages looking in the light for a coin that awaits us not in light and not in dark, but beyond all opposites.
-- Jed McKenna