Reflections on life. Collections of inspirational quotes. Rediscovering relationships and faith.
A man travels the world in search of what he needs and returns home to find it.” – George Moore
“Can you still stay for awhile? Sofia, 10 year old daughter of my host family in Austria yelled out from her window as I was about to put my last luggage inside the car. In my haste, I remember I forgot to kiss her good-bye as I didn’t see her around.
Her words and my never ending rushing are my crossroads in life. I always have these choices: stay or leave. Sadly for those who asked me to stay, I opted to leave.
These past two months of extensive travelling and rushing really drained me out. I feel hollow inside! There never seems to be enough time. I have less for myself and far less for another person.
I see myself in those who are impatient for people who talk or walk slowly, impatience in traffic, slow service, etc. “Time is money” we say. We rarely have time for real dialogue or for just “wasting time”. Living in a European culture, this kind of system is eating me up slowly or faster?
This month, my work took me up to the beautiful Alps of Europe. Trekking along the steepy trails, enjoying the silence and solitude of the mountain sides, immersing in deep thoughts on a mountaintop while observing the panaroma below gave me a chance to slow down my pace and begin to see the world in a different perspective.
The marvelous part of it, I was only carrying a light backpack and in between pause, I would sit down pondering on a quote inscribed on a plaque affixed to the bench like these:
Yes, Just where am I going anyway? Where is there? Who am I? etc
I am always going somewhere, never being anywhere…never being with the person or people I care for.
One hiker beside me was reading a book of Helen Nearing, “Loving and leaving the Good life” and she smilingly showed me a passage from the book:
“When one door closes, another opens . . . into another room, another space, other happenings. There are many doors to open and close in our lives. Some doors we leave ajar, where we hope and plan to return. Some doors are slammed shut decisively – “No more of that!” Some are closed regretfully, softly – “It was good, but it is over.”
Departures entail arrivals somewhere else. Closing a door, leaving it behind, means opening onto new vistas and ventures, new possibilities, new incentives.”
Reading it seemed to give me another oracle to my queries: am I ready to close a door? what am I ready to give up?
I am beginning to believe that no external success can atone for internal failures.
I placed my last heavy luggage inside my car and went back to see Sofia. I looked at her sad eyes wanting to tell her I can’t stay as I have another train to catch up. Instead, my lips uttered…”okay, I will stay for awhile!”
What am I doing here?”
– Rimbaud writing home from Ethiopia
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I — I took the one less traveled by, and that has made all the difference.” – Robert Frost
Muhammad says, ‘Love of one’s country is a part of the faith.’
But don’t take that literally! Your real ‘country’ is where you’re heading, not where you are.
Don’t misread that hadith.”
If we are always arriving and departing, it is also true that we are eternally anchored. One’s destination is never a place but rather a new way of looking at things.”
– Henry Miller
Traveling is like flirting with life. It’s like saying, ‘I would stay and love you, but I have to go; this is my station.'”
– Lisa St. Aubin de Teran
When you are everywhere, you are nowhere.
When you are somewhere, you are everywhere.”
Travel does what good novelists also do to the life of everyday, placing it like a picture in a frame or a gem in its setting, so that the intrinsic qualities are made more clear. Travel does this with the very stuff that everyday life is made of, giving to it the sharp contour and meaning of art.”
– Freya Stark
If you wish to travel far and fast, travel light. Take off all your envies, jealousies, unforgiveness, selfishness and fears.”
– Glenn Clark
Home is where I should be.” – Isak Dinesen, Out of africa
No one realizes how beautiful it is to travel until he comes home and rests his head on his old, familiar pillow.” –Lin Yutang
To be happy is to recognize that life, is worth living, even with all its challenges, misunderstandings, and its periods of crisis.
To be happy, is to stop being the victim of problems and being the author of your own story.
To cross deserts outside of yourself, and to find the oasis inside your soul.
To thank God for each morning for the miracle of life.
To be happy, is not to be afraid of your own emotions. It is knowing how to speak about yourself.
To have the courage to listen to a “no”. To have the strength to receive a criticism, even when unjust.
Stones in the road? I save every single one, one day I´ll build a castle.”- Fernando Pessoa – portuguese poet. (Translation in english by Isabel Gallagher)
As I was walking the streets of Passeig de Gràcia in Barcelona yesterday, I saw an epigraph on one old house “Stones in the road? I save every single one, one day I´ll build a castle” by Pessoa.
Fernando Pessoa is one of my favorite 20th century writers and I would describe him as many writers in one.The Portuguese author attributed his work to literary alter egos that he called “heteronyms,” each of which had a fully developed identity.
His works are extraordinary, a haunting mosaic of dreams, autobiographical vignettes, shards of literary theory and criticism and maxims. They are cerebral workings of a first-rate thinker on the dilemma of life. Full of fresh metaphors and unique perceptions.
Walking the cobblestone path of this Gothic quarter in Barcelona …my mind wanders on every single stone in my life. How did I respond to these stones? Did they serve as my stumbling blocks or stepping stones??
There are rough stones and smooth stones but have you ever wondered how it can be perfectly smooth? Did the stone start out this way, or did it change over time?
Certainly it changed over time! The weather factors, the current of water, the constant stepping on of passer-byes are the physical causes of its transformation.
Like the smooth stone, forces in our lives are constant and never ending, causing changes whether we like it or not.
The important question for all of us is: how do we respond to change?
Does change in our work environment or changes in our lives go unnoticed, or is of little concern?
Look at the stones in your life…
Change, adapt, and continue to learn is my resolution everytime I receive a stone hurled into my path.
Change will affect you one way or the other, just like what happened to the stone.
I’m past half way of building my castle with my stones!
All is worthwhile if the soul is not small.”
At first, it’s unfamiliar, then it strikes root.”
Could it think, the heart would stop beating.”
God wills, Man dreams, the Work is born.”
Look, there’s no metaphysics on earth like chocolates.”
No intelligent idea can gain general acceptance unless some stupidity is mixed in with it.”
Success consists in being successful, not in having potential for success. Any wide piece of ground is the potential site of a palace, but there’s no palace till it’s built.”
To choose ways of not acting was ever the concern and scruple of my life.”
To feel today what one felt yesterday isn’t to feel – it’s to remember today what was felt yesterday, to be today’s living corpse of what yesterday was lived and lost.”
Wise is he who enjoys the show offered by the world.”