Ever since I was about 11 or 12 years old, I've liked and collected aphorisms or other sayings that I'd run across somewhere that caught my eye, imagination, or heart. These sayings were printed on black pasteboard in various kinds of day-glo like colors. There was usually an illustration of some sort on there too. I had these things hanging all around my bedroom, which when I think about it now was pretty peculiar for a pre-teen. It might also be peculiar for a Medicare aged adult, too, for all I know, but I still do it. Only now I write these things down in one of those books with blank pages. And I certainly don't care whether it's eccentric, something you never want to be when you're 12.
So this Christmas Eve, I thought I'd share some of these random sayings. I really don't have to go too far. Open my little book about halfway, and I encounter these. See if any strike a chord with you, and let me know.
==Controversy equalized wise men and fools alike--and the fools know it.
--Oliver Wendall Holmes
==We live in a deranged age, more deranged than usual, because in spite of great scientific and technologtical advances, man has not the faintest idea of who he is or what he is doing.
==I am dissatisfied, profoundly so, with the world as it is. But I would be dissatisfied with any world.. And I'd hate to lose my dissatisfaction.
==To succeed in the world, it is not enough to be stupid, you must also be well-mannered.
==I can get along with the crazy people, it's only the fools I can't stand.
==All the time we've saved/since we stopped praying for our souls/hasn't filled the hole/inside the human gut.
--Tony Hoagland "Volunteer"
==I had just about all I can take of myself.
--S. N. Behrman
and finally, a couple of longer ones:
==I almost think we're all of us Ghosts . . . It's not only what we have inherited from our father and mother that walks in us. It's all sorts of dead ideas, and lifeless old beliefs, and so forth. They have no vitality, but they cling to us all the same, and we can't get rid of them. Whenever I take up a newspaper, I seem to see Ghosts gliding between the lines. There must be Ghosts all the country over, as thick as the sand of the sea. And then we are, one and all, so pitifully afraid of the light.
==How to grow old with grace and firmness
Is the kind of eternal problem that poetry
Is best reserved for, imagining poetry
That isn't afraid of saying what time will do
To our taste and talents, our angles of observation.
--Carl Dennis "Eternal Poetry"
Blessed Christmas, everybody.