Search This Blog

Saturday, April 18, 2015


From the order of nature we return to the order – and the disorder – of humanity. From the larger circle we must go back to the smaller, the smaller within the larger and dependent on it. One enters the larger circle by willingness to be a creature, the smaller by choosing to be a human. And having returned from the woods, we remember with regret its restfulness. For all creatures there are in place, hence at rest.

In their most strenuous striving, sleeping and waking, dead and living, they are at rest. In the circle of the human we are weary with striving, and are without rest.
~Wendell Berry


Regret has to be useless or it’s not really regret.
~Simone de Beauvoir (The Mandarins)


471. If you never do a thing you may regret later, later will never come. As Eve proved, shame is time.
~James Richardson, (Vectors: Aphorisms & Ten-Second Essays)


God does not demand that we give up our personal dignity, that we throw in our lot with random people, that we lose ourselves and turn from all that is not him. God needs nothing, asking nothing, and demands nothing, like the stars. It is a life with God which demands these things.

Experience has taught the race that if knowledge of God is the end, then these habits of life are not the means but the condition in which the means operates. You do not have to do these things; not at all. God does, not, I regret to report, give a hoot. You do not have to do these things—unless you want to know God. They work on you, not on him.

You do not have to sit outside in the dark .If, however, you want to look at the stars, you will find that darkness is necessary. But the stars neither require nor demand it.

~Annie Dillard, (Teaching a Stone to Talk: Expeditions and Encounters)


I don't do these kinds of lists much anymore because my personal database keeps pulling up the same poems I've used in previous lists, even when I search for a different word. For example, when looking for 'regret' I pulled up a number of poems and quotes that I had already used with other keywords for topics. Interestingly, an overlap that occurred with some frequency was poems using both the word 'regret' and the word 'logic.' Hmmmmmmmm.


drew said...

Oh, but I love this word-poem-quote lists!

Thanks Jessica.

Jessica Goodfellow said...

Thanks, Drew. I actually really enjoy making them, but it's true--I have more than 500 pages of poems and quotes in my database, but the same ones keep coming up, despite using different search words. So it seems the words that interest me also interest other poets/writers at roughly the same rate, I guess. Now it's noticing which ones overlap which is getting interesting.