Annemarie Roeper (August 27, 1918 – May 11, 2012)
You are the core of our being; all of the other parts of the body are felt to be part of you. When any part of the body is hurt, you feel hurt. When our body feels well, you feel well. We know we are alive because we feel ourselves as “I.” I have never died, but I know it is the “I” that feels the dying. It is the “I” that stops existing in the form in which we are used to when we die.
Annie Dillard (April 30, 1945 -)
There is no shortage of good days. It is good lives that are hard to come by. A life of good days lived in the senses is not enough. The life of sensation is the life of greed; it requires more and more. The life of the spirit requires less and less; time is ample and its passage sweet. Who would call a day spent reading a good day? But a life spent reading — that is a good life.
Henry Louis Mencken (September 12, 1880 – January 29, 1956)
As for me, I am never absolutely certain that I am right, and for the plain reason that I am never absolutely certain that anything is true. It may seem to me to be true but I may be quite unable to imagine any proof of its falsity – but that is simply saying that my imagination is limited, not that the proposition itself is immovably sound. Some other man, better-born than I, or drinking better liquor, may disprove it tomorrow. And if not tomorrow, then the day after tomorrow, or maybe next week or next year. I know of no so-called truth that quite escapes this possibility. Anything is conceivable in a world so irrational as this one.
Neil de Grasse Tyson (October 05, 1958 -)
Who are we, if not measured by our impact on others? That’s who we are! We’re not who we say we are, we’re not who we want to be — we are the sum of the influence and impact that we have, in our lives, on others.
EM Forster (January 01, 1879 – June 07, 1970)
If I had to choose between betraying my country and betraying my friend, I hope I should have the guts to betray my country.
Brush painting is one of the many practices used to awaken one’s participation and manifestation of the Tao. By focusing and directing the painter’s awareness, it is an expedient way to uncover and clarify a painter’s state of mind. A brush painter selects a subject, studies it to determine a minimum number of strokes, then orders and repeats these strokes until they become one single, fluid movement, generally executed on one exhalation. The extent to which the practitioner is focused, at one with the materials and techniques, is the extent to which the resulting works is infused with life and vitality of its own.
Note: Hank is an extraordinary artist and personal friend. You can hear him discuss his art here.
Eternal Joy, Brush Painting by Tao Writer, ©️2000.
Tao Writer (April 17, 1948 -)
It was the music that drew me into the park this afternoon. I was heading home. The park was out of my way, but the music. I knew the tune seemingly by heart and memory. I could not remember who made it famous, but it was played on a sax just as I am hearing it now. The man playing the sax has a bodily rhythm incorporating every note of the song. I reach into my pocket, pull out a dollar coin, and toss it into his instrument case. He looks up at me from the depths of his playing and smiles. I head out of the park. Sometimes I take the long way home and it brings back a memory of another time, another moment of this life, all present in this moment, right now.
Note: Although Paul Desmond and Dave Brubeck made it famous, I like the cut by Charlie Parker. Listen to Parker playing “Take Five” here.