This morning I came across a quote I like while reading a recovery meditation book:”Forgiveness, gratitude, intimacy, gentleness, honesty: these are the gifts we give to ourselves and others when we live in the present.” This got me thinking about the elusive issue of Living In The Now, which in turn brought up another quote from one of my favorite unknown movies Off the Map: “It has struck me to view the ocean as the past, the sky as the future and the present as that thin precarious line where both meet, precarious because, as we stand there, it curves under foot, ever-changing.”
A good quote stays with us for meditation and further examination. As such, for me quotes can be a great aid along the spiritual path. I don’t have a great attention span and so I do well with bite-sized pieces of profundity to help me along the way. I would note, too, that many of my favorite rich quotations do not come from spiritual or theological tomes. Many come from movies. Here are a few:
“Hope is a good thing. Maybe the best of things. And no good thing ever dies.” The Shawshank Redemption
“It is madness to wear ladies’ straw hats and velvet hats to church; we should all be wearing crash helmets. Ushers should issue life preservers and signal flares; they should lash us to their pews.” Annie Dillard,Teaching a Stone to Talk
“I’m not angry at God. We’re just not talking to one another.” Joseph Heller God Knows
“We’re Easter people living in a Good Friday world.” Anne Lamott Plan B: Further Thoughts on Faith
“God save me from sober and serious saints!” St. Teresa of Avila
“”I only went out for a walk and finally concluded to stay out til sundown, for going out, I found, was really going in.” John Muir
“The summer that began so long ago had ended and another summer had taken its place. And a fall. And Boo Radley had come out.” To Kill a Mockingbird
“It ain’t over til it’s over.” Yogi Berra
And finally, my own motto as a psychotherapist: “I’m a very good man. I’m just a very bad wizard.” The Wizard of Oz
All these quotes and many others have given me much to reflect upon. In a way, they’ve become like old friends. I can revisit them from time to time for comfort and even a second wind on my own spiritual journey.
Feel free to share any of your own favorite quotes as a comment.
Reflection and Task: Make a list of your own favorite quotes. Why are you drawn to them.